Monthly Archives: September 2016
Posted: September 29, 2016You’ve seen it cropping up the past few months on everything from flags and garden banners to hats and license plates – thin blue line merchandise has flooded the marketplace as people scramble to show our brave law enforcement officers their respect and pride for their service and sacrifices in the wake of the fatal shooting of five Dallas police officers this past July. But what is the thin blue line? The emblem, which features a black horizontal top stripe, a single blue line running horizontally through the center and a bottom black horizontal stripe is representative of three things: the public (the black stripe on top), the criminal element (the bottom black stripe) and law enforcement (the blue stripe in the middle). The phrase is analogous to the term the Thin Red Line, which was a military action by the BritishRead more »
Posted: September 28, 2016Categories: American Flag History
You can’t say they didn’t make any effort. There are plenty of designs that didn’t make the official cut, although even the official flag has been modified twenty-six different times. Mostly, of course, to denote new states added to the canton as stars, which always necessitates a redesign of the pattern, some more successful than others.
Rather than a step-by-step showcase of how the field has changed and how it’s likely to change again if new states are ratified, let’s take a look at some of the more exotic offerings our forefathers were planning on for the flag.
We’ll start with a classic: the original “Grand Union” flag, called the “Continental Colors” as well. It has the basic elements: thirteen alternating red and white stripes, and a canton in the upper left hand corner at the hoist, but the star field is
Posted: September 25, 2016Categories: International Flags
The world as we know it today is astonishingly different from what it was over five hundred years ago. The Age of Colonization was a groundbreaking time of discovery, one where unexpected, dramatic (and occasionally traumatic) voyages changed cultures and ecology across the globe.
Main sea trade routes discovered during the Age of Exploration.
Starting with the largest naval powers of Europe (Portugal, Spain, and England), explorers set out to discover valuable assets. Spices, furs, timber, rich fabrics, rare scents, and more unusual goods were sought all over the world. There was a race, so to speak, to seek out and claim the most valuable territories and their treasures. These colonies enriched and lent value to their conquering empires.
Throughout the Age of Exploration, the globe was marked with the flags of European occupation, some firmly held, others hotly disputed.
The Spread of Empires
Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the map of the world was a pattern of Imperial and Royal flags. Some of these can still be seen in the standards of now independent countries or states. Indeed, it did not matter if a place was already inhabited. As long as it was unclaimed by a European power, the land was fair game.
The energy, curiosity, and rampant greed of the time makes for fascinating storytelling. Anyone who got hooked on the Showtime television series “The Tudors" can attest to this fact.
Posted: September 22, 2016Categories: International Flags
It seems like a simple quest, searching for the oldest national flag in existence. In reality, the actual historical trail gets much murkier. Legends, national heroes, personal standards, and religious visions all figure into a much more complex picture.
Just to make everything more interesting, the ancient tradition of heraldry, both personal and family, complicates the issue. From the foggiest scraps of historical records emerge the usage of flags and symbols to identify people and tribes. Official adoption of those symbols by larger groups comes much later, and it is harder to trace the actual beginning of a flag as national identity.
Contender #1: The Dannebrog
One version of history is easy enough to accept. The Dannebrog, the national flag of Denmark, has been in continuous usage since a battle in 1219 AD.
The legend is a little richer in romantic details. On June 15th, King Waldemar II defeated a force of Estonians with a banner that descended from heaven above (or so the story goes). It is interesting to see this legend falls into the formulaic vision of “under this flag you shall be victorious,” which was a common religious metaphor of the age. With a strange twist, though: “cross from the sky” type miracles were much more common in the Iberian peninsula, where clashes between Christians and Moors were not unusual.
This was the Dannebrog, the flag of the Danes, or simply “the red flag.” Simple and elegant in appearance, it features a brilliant white cross against a red background. Through the course of history, this particular design was also used by the Portuguese Order of Christ and by the Knights Hospitaller from the Baltic states (both crusading orders).
Posted: September 11, 2016The world as we knew it was forever shattered on the morning of September 11, 2001, when three commercial airliners hijacked by Al-Qaeda members struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC in coordinated terror attacks. Another hijacked airliner crashed in a Pennsylvania field after the flight’s crew and passengers attacked the terrorists in an attempt to take back the plane. All on board each plane were killed that day, along with thousands of innocent civilians and emergency responders on the ground and in the buildings. Fifteen years later, our hearts and prayers continue to go out to those who perished and those who were affected on that fateful day. Below is a list of broadcasts commemorating the 15th Anniversary of September 11, 2001. All times are Eastern. We will never forget. 9/11 Memorial Livestream — The livestream will begin at 8:40 a.m. on Sept. 11 at 911memorial.org. Stay connected and join others in sharing how you are commemorating the 15th anniversary by using #Honor911 on social media. FOX News Channel 9/11 15th Anniversary coverage — Full-day coverage beginning at 6 am. Washington Journal: Remembering 9/11 — Sept. 11 at 7am on CSPAN. Sunday TODAY on NBC— Sept. 11 at 8am White House Moment of Silence for 9/11 — Sept. 11 at 8:30am on CSPAN. 9/11 Ceremony in New York City — Live — Sept. 11 at 8:35am on CSPAN. 9/11 Ceremony at the Pentagon — Live — Sept. 11 at 9:30am on CSPAN. 9/11 Ceremony in Shanksville, PA — Live — Sept. 11 at 10am on CSPAN. 9/11 Ceremony in New York City — Live — Sept. 11 at 10:30am on CSPAN.Read more »
Posted: September 06, 2016
Patriots, mark your calendars – and warm up those vocal cords! Join the American Public Education Foundation from your home, school, or business for the 2016 National Anthem Sing Along on Friday, September 9, 2016 at 10 a.m. PST and 1 p.m. EST. This is the largest National Anthem sing-a-long in the country and the third annual simultaneous sing-a-long event created by the APEF-9/12 Generation Project, whose focus is to bring students together in the same way the world came together on September 12, 2001. Students from across our great nation will learn about the words and meaning of the flag and sing the first stanza of The Star-Spangled Banner. The organization is hoping to beat its record of over 277,000 singers so make sure to sign up now with all of your family, friends, classmates, and colleagues to participate in this historic event! Registration is free at http://www.theapef.org/national-anthem-sing-a-long