Monthly Archives: April 2016

  1. 7 Ways to Display Your American Flag

    7 Ways to Display Your American Flag

    Image 1The American flag is not just a piece of material; it is a symbol of your country. As such, it should be treated with respect and care. Most people are familiar with the traditional flying of the flag from a flagpole at government buildings, schools, etc., and many others show their national pride by flying the flag from their residence. Beyond these standard displays, there are many other ways to display your flag. Most of them are such a part of our life that we don't notice them anymore, but if they were gone it would surely leave a giant hole in the fabric of our country.

    Let's look at seven ways to display the American flag.

    Stationary Flagpole

    If you have a stationary flagpole, your American flag can be flown proudly above your business or residence. If there are other flags that are also flown, the American flag is to be flown above them at the highest level, and no other flag is to be larger than the American flag. When flags are flown outdoors, they should be made of a material that can withstand the winds, since flying a tattered flag is not acceptable.

    Flags should not be flown in inclement weather unless they were designed for this purpose. For example, AmericanFlags.com offers outdoor flags constructed from 100% 2-ply, spun woven polyester that is resistant to high winds, rain, and snow with bright, fade-resistant colors. These flags meet U.S. government and military specifications.

    American flags are not to be flown at night unless they are illuminated.

    Removable Flagpole

    Many homes and businesses have a flag that is attached to a removable pole that can be placed attached to the home or business. These flags should be flown in such a way that they will not touch the ground or be caught up in foliage, branches, or other obstacles, as the American flag must always be able to fly freely. If these flags are to be flown at night, ensure they are illuminated.

    Should you desire your flag to fly in inclement weather, ensure that it is constructed of the same superior material as those flown on a stationary pole. If your flag will be taken down during these times, you might consider a flag of durable nylon or even a

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  2. The Controversial Green Mountain Boys

     Green Mountain Boys Flag The American Revolution was a turbulent time for a new nation on the verge of being born. Settlers who had come here to escape the oppression of England's royal rule banded together to fight for freedom, to establish a new republic in which all men are created equal. To unite the people, creating a feeling of belonging, pride, and patriotism, flags were flown for various purposes and over clusters of militia.

    Who Were the Green Mountain Boys

    One such militia consisted of the Green Mountain Boys, a group of settlers and land speculators who controlled the area called the New Hampshire Grants, located between the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain, what we know today as Vermont. Technically, they were under the control of New York, a decision made by the British;
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  3. Moon's Glory

    American Flag on the Moon Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted an American flag on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. But where did it come from? There are a few theories, but ultimately no one seems to know for certain. Dolores Black, a former seamstress for a flag company in Milwaukee, thinks she may have sewn it. She stated during an interview that she had sewn her name inside the webbing that would have been used to attach the flag to a pole. Unfortunately, that webbing and the manufacturer's labels had to be removed in order to affix the flag to its aluminum pole, so even were someone to launch a multi-billion dollar operation to inspect it, there is no way to verify her assertion. According to NASA itself, the flag was purchased off-the-shelf,
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  4. Honor and Glory: The Standard Bearer

    Battle Flag Flags have long delineated who we are as individuals, what groups we belong to, and what we want to claim as our own. The brilliant colors and strange menageries found on banners are their own language, for flags were meant for communication before literacy was common. In the less civilized days of our past, the designs on flags gave travelers, soldiers, and common folk basic information about the areas they were living in or traveling through. At the very apex of these communications, flags were the ones used in battle. Any given army or unit would be identified by their ensign from afar, and the most vital (and dangerous) job on the field was the standard bearer. An unusual position of honor, the person chosen to carry the flag for his army had to be an extraordinary one, for he was the primary target for all as soon as he set foot in battle.

    Quick Communication: A Bright Idea

    Before the modern invention of the radio, communication at a distance—whether during war or peace—was a difficult prospect. Written messages and couriers were somewhat effective, but hazardously slow and hard to deliver, especially during pitched battle. Accurate positioning of appropriate forces was absolutely essential—so each unit would have a designated soldier who carried a token of identification on a long pole. These manifested in several ways, with animals being the most popular icons.

    The Aquila: A Spirit of Battle

    Of particular importance for the Romans was the Aquila, the bronze eagle carried to represent the spirit of the entire army. A general, from a small distance, could see the movements of his forces by their ensigns and correct them swiftly. In return, any given soldier could find his general by seeking the Aquila. Being chosen to carry the Aquila was one of the highest honors that could be bestowed upon a soldier: Not only was that eagle the rallying point, it was the avatar of the army’s fighting spirit. To the Romans, the Aquila was a god. To carry and defend that spirit required a fighter of the highest ability, possessed of independent intelligence and a fanatical devotion to Rome itself. Concurrently, the standard bearer was usually accompanied by the general himself and an elite group of soldiers: the color guard. While still being an active part of the fighting force, this particular unit was devoted to the preservation of their standard. The loss of that symbol, that god, was a devastating blow for two reasons. First, it meant that they had lost their deity and their honor. Second, and deadly from a tactical point of view, the regular army would have no visual signal to indicate central command. An army without a standard was often an army without a general, and, therefore, must be losing badly. Troops would often break and run without the assurance of an intact chain of command.

    The Hundred Years War

    Though the Roman Empire eventually fell, the sanctity of one’s standard and the honor of being flag-bearer continued down through the ages. In particular, as the ideals of chivalry spread through Western Europe, the honor of carrying your country’s emblem redoubled in importance. With the concept of knighthood came the secondary display of one’s own colors, or “device.” This was especially noteworthy during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France. Rich ransoms could be acquired by capturing the right people. A captured knight was a valuable commodity, and the money his King would pay for his freedom not inconsiderable. All you had to do was read the correct flags and capture soldiers carrying their easily identifiable shields. This was a common practice, for one or two ransoms could provide a gentlemanly retirement. Of particular interest on any given field of battle, then, was any monarch present, readily identified by his own personal standard. The knight charged with the duty of carrying the king’s banner was one of proven skill and bravery, for once again the banner made him a target. As the model of the perfect knight, Sir Geoffroi de Charny of France may be the most iconic standard bearer in all of history. A noteworthy statesman and brilliant fighter, de Charny was charged to carry the Oriflamme—the standard of the French monarchy.  It was considered to be the embodiment of their military greatness, much as the Aquila was centuries before. At the Battle of Poitiers (though at almost sixty years of age), the valiant de Charny carried the Oriflamme and fought at the side of the king himself. Against overwhelming odds (five Englishmen to every one Frenchman) de Charney’s courage never faltered. This “true and perfect knight” died at the hands of the English, but even as he perished he refused to relinquish the Oriflamme. Such was the power of these symbols and the collective belief accumulated with their presence. The French suffered a devastating defeat, but the legend and the impact of Geoffroi de Charny’s actions have remained impressive through the annals of history.

    The Civil War

    Over four hundred years later, the intertwined importance of the flag and the standard-bearer still carried great weight. Whereas before capture and ransom were an essential part of war, the American Civil War unfolded new depths of terror upon the battlefield. Unlike the almost ceremonial confrontations of Europe, this conflict was known for being horrifically bloody. The invention of gunpowder and the common usage of rifles added incalculable risk to those chosen to carry the flag. Not only were the standard bearers still marked targets, they were now often the only visible targets in fields clouded with gunsmoke. Both the North and the South had conventions for the color guard—nine men total—but the peril was equal for both sides. The army’s flag and flag bearer were always the prime targets for the densest and most violent fighting. Again, capturing the enemy’s flag was considered an act of the sheerest bravery, and the men responsible would be honored for their courage. No unit surrenders their standard easily, and the price men paid on both sides of the battle was incalculably steep.

    Where Did the Battle Flags Go?

    It is fairly accurate to say that very few elements of combat have stayed consistent since Roman times. The advent of modern warfare tactics, remote communication, flight, and motorized vehicles all contribute to a very different approach to warfare. A flag is no longer strictly necessary. Often, in missions of liberation, an openly displayed flag would be viewed as an act of occupation and not one of rescue. Unit flags are still kept and treasured, but are only flown in the most tactful ways possible. Much of today’s warfare depends on swiftness and stealth, both of which would be greatly hampered by a gigantic flag. In lieu of this, members of the American army still carry the Stars and Stripes on their sleeves in muted colors. You can find almost any flag you may want to fly at AmericanFlags.com, where the standards are made in America, by Americans. It is interesting to note, however, that the stars always face forward,
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  5. Nancy Reagan: Actress, First Lady, and Honorable Wife

    Nancy ReaganThe wife of the President of the United States of America is known as the First Lady. Many notable women have contributed to our great nation just as much as their husbands. Nancy Reagan, who recently passed away on March 6, 2016, is one of the top first ladies of the 20th century. She is known for being the wife of President Ronald Reagan, for her acting credits, and for her passion about discouraging drug use by youth. She was born in New York City to actress Edith Luckett and salesman Kenneth Robbins. Anne Frances “Nancy” Robbins entered the world on July 6, 1921. Shortly after birth, her parents separated, so Nancy went to live with her aunt and uncle in Maryland. Her mother pursued her acting career and later married Chicago neurosurgeon Loyal Davis when Nancy was about eight years old. Because of this marriage, Nancy had a wealthy and prominent upbringing. She attended the Girls’ Latin School in Chicago, a private institution. Afterward, she graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in drama in 1943.

    Her Acting Career

    After graduation, Nancy began a career as a sales clerk while also working as a nurse’s aide. However, her true vision was to become an actress like her mother. She eventually was able to enter the industry thanks to her mother’s connections. Her first role was in “Ramshackle Inn,” a touring production. In 1946, at the tender age of 23, Nancy debuted on Broadway in “Lute Song” with Yul Brynner and Mary Martin. The musical was a hit. As she rose to fame, Nancy signed a seven-year contract with MGM Studios of Hollywood. She appeared as a supporting actress in some films, including “The Doctor and the Girl” and “East Side, West Side” in 1949. In 1950, Nancy’s name made a “communist sympathizers” list in a magazine. She was told to get help from the Screen Actors Guild president, who just happened to be Ronald Reagan. The future president of the United States reassured her that her career was safe, and the two began dating. On March 4, 1952, the two wed at the Little Brown Church in San Fernando Valley. In 1957, Nancy and Ronald Reagan starred in “Hellcats in the Navy.” By the end of the decade, she pursued another career: wife and mother. Nancy and Ronald had custody of his two children, Maureen and Michael, from a previous
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  6. The History of the Fourth of July

    sparkler-839806_1920When you hear the Fourth of July, what do you think of? Some of you may picture a beautiful sunny afternoon with family and friends at the park or beach. Maybe you are having a barbecue. Others think of the magnificent firework displays that take place all across the USA. Parades, concerts, and baseball games are other fun activities that are popular on the 4th. Whatever your tradition is, chances are good you are wearing red, white, and blue to represent the American flag. Although of these summertime pastimes are festive, there is a reason for the celebrations. It is the United States of America’s Independence Day. The famous holiday dates back to the 18th century when the new 13 colonies fought for their independence from Great
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  7. By Land or By Sea: Flags Are More Than Decorations

    Sail Boat Flags The open ocean has undeniable appeal, especially in today’s hectic, loud, busy world. The simplicity of a valiant sailing ship running before a brisk wind in silent elegance encapsulates a glorious idea of escape. One does not often find a quiet haven disturbed only by the rush of wind and water and the crying of seabirds. Even better, when it enables you to explore the greater world around you in unexpected and glorious ways. Full sails and salt spray hearken back to the earliest adventurers and traders looking upon the mysterious shores of a New World.

    Sailboats

    Modern day sailing is an interesting and challenging art that requires both physical effort and careful study—and is becoming more and more popular as a delightful warm-weather hobby. The perennial popularity of the Boston Sailing School on the Charles River in Massachusetts is testimony; children of all ages learn to set sail and love the open water. Each year hundreds of young people grapple with every level of challenge, from beginners to advanced racing techniques, and even nighttime navigation. The Eastern Seaboard teems with opportunities for unique adventure, far from the dubious delights of fast food and social media. Sailing, it seems, can be for almost everyone, as these sea-going beauties come in all sizes. Even tiny solo sailboats command as much respect as luxurious multi-bedroom yachts when it comes to sheer accomplishment and skill. In one respect, however, they all have a beautifully uniting feature: They all fly colors.

    Letter Flags

    A flag is an identity at sea, a statement of who you are and where you are from. One flies the flag of one’s country in pride and honor, but there is also a vibrant, beautiful language of smaller flags utilizing an internationally recognized code for communication. Using 26 pennons to represent the letters of the alphabet that are described in NATO phonetic terms (A=alpha, B=bravo, C=charlie, etc.) these small, brilliant flags help international ships pass quick, efficient messages. Making the whole concept a little
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  8. Flags, Heraldry and the Origins of the Banners We Fly

    national-colours-1002786_1920 Today, many families carefully research and proudly display the crests and mottoes of their ancestors, and pore through family trees to trace the genealogy of their families. A sense of belonging is a basic need, and knowing our origins is a way to connect with those who came before us. While still feeling American first, knowing the nationality of our ancestors helps with that sense of belonging, and many Americans proudly recognize and celebrate the cultures from which they came. Celebrating St. Patrick's day decked out in green or having a margarita on Cinco de Mayo, we can be proud of where we came from. Flying a flag in honor of our family’s origins is a special way to demonstrate that sense of belonging, and AmericanFlags.com makes this easy with its offerings
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  9. Honoring Our Fallen: The American Flag Presentation

    Honoring Our Fallen: The American Flag Presentation
    Cemetary American FlagEveryday men and women join our Armed Services, some making the ultimate sacrifice in laying down their lives.  The worst moment in any spouse, parent, or child's life is seeing the uniformed soldier walk up to your front door, knowing exactly what it is they are about to tell you.  You heart races, a churning in your stomach, knowing the person you love most in the world has given their life to protect our country and freedom.

    Families of The Fallen

    For the comrades, the most difficult duty they ever perform is driving to the home of the fallen soldier's parents.  Once they greet the family, they present a tri-folded American flag to commemorate the fallen soldier.  The soldier's comrades will say something along the lines of, “Your son/daughter fought honorably. On
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  10. The Stars and Stripes

    The Stars and Stripes
    American Flag At its most basic level, a flag is simply fabric, some color, maybe a pattern, and some stitching to pull it all together. However, a flag is not the sum of the materials that make it up; the worth of a flag is in the sum of ideas that it represents. While Betsy Ross understood that the cloth she fabricated into 13 stars, and 13 stripes was to represent a burgeoning nation, she could not have foreseen what that banner would come to represent, what would become the fabric of the nation that was coming to life.

    The American Flag at the White House

    Rather, flying over the White House, or your own house, our American flag is now a universal symbol of liberty, freedom, and democracy the world over. Rather, raised by valiant Marines over Iwo Jima in that most iconic of images, or raised by your own family on the fourth of July, the Stars and Stripes is flown with pride, pride in our nation, in our noble history, and our present role as the guardians of liberty around the globe. Crafted and first hoisted in rebellion during troubled times, the pigments and patterns have long encapsulated the elements of what it means to be American: pride, honesty, and the value of hard work. Strong and flexible, the very threads of the American flag reflect the complex interwoven mixture of cultures and values that have produced our unique and multifaceted national character.

    The Colors of the Flag

    While initially speaking of the colors of our Nation’s Great Seal, the shared colors of the Stars and Stripes have, over time, become enriched with meaning, expanding on our national legacy, each significant for the virtues and values they represent within our republic: White for the purity and innocence of a new nation; red to represent the valor, hardiness, and commitment that would be necessary to defend the republic; and blue to embody the vigilance and justice necessary to ensure the perseverance of the noble experiment the nation has built and sustained. A nation as Lincoln so eloquently stated, which was conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Is there any wonder why our flag commands such strong emotions and such respect across the globe?

    Welcome to the Home of the American Flag

    At AmericanFlags.com we pride ourselves on our selection of high quality American flags, made right here in the USA. We offer American flags made by Americans, for Americans, right here at home. You’ll also find flagpoles, and a wide array of other supplies to allow you and your family to demonstrate the pride you feel toward our great land. Holidays like the Fourth of July are, of course, ideal times to display your patriotism; however, your patriotic spirit need not wait for America’s birthday to be on display! Displaying the flag shows your true American spirit year round—that same spirit which has made America the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave for more than two centuries. Along with our wide array of items to show your pride in our great land, AmericanFlags.com also offers a complete line of historic flags, military flags, world flags, state and city flags, along with flags advertising religious and sports affiliations for indoor and outdoor use. You
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