American Heritage

  1. The Flag of the United States Air Force

    US Air Force Flag The United States Air Force has its origins in the Army Signal Corps, founded as a division in 1907 to pursue aeronautical endeavors. Initially, this mostly meant balloons for reconnaissance purposes, as had been developed during the Civil War, but, by 1914, they had a full aviation division. The progress after that was not spectacular, and the planes the U.S. could field during World War I were quite inferior to the ones that had been developed on the European continent.
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  2. Flying the Flag at Half-Mast

    When you see a flag flying at half-mast, it is natural to wonder, “Who passed away?” Typically, the American flag is flown at half-staff when someone has died, as a mark of respect, but it can also mean distress, to be in mourning, or, in some cases, a salute. This custom traces back to 1612 and an ill-fated mission.

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  3. How the Eagle Became the U.S. Mascot

    A true Native American, the bald eagle can be found from Alaska to the northern border of Mexico, and from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic. It is the only eagle found exclusively in North America, so it is very fitting that it is our national emblem. Not only was it decided early on but, contrary to myths and folklore, it was a quick and widely supported decision. Since Roman times, the eagle has been associated with strength, and the Legions used it as their standard. Rightfully so, as the American bald eagle weighs between 7 and 14 lbs., males being smaller than females, and their wing spans measure 6 to 8 feet. This incredible size and power allows them to fly up to 10,000 feet in the air and dive at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. The eagle is a sea bird and feeds on turtles, snakes, fish, and ducks. They are also known to add

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  4. In Appreciation of City Flags

    featim2 Throughout history, flags have served as an excellent display of cultural and geographic identity. A flag tends to be viewed as a physical representation of the intangible idea of the nation. Every weekday children across the United States of America say The Pledge of Allegiance to Old Glory, and they could easily explain to you that the thirteen red and white stripes are for the thirteen original colonies, and that the fifty stars stand for the fifty current states in the union.
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  5. Why Being Patriotic Means So Much

    Orson Welles once said, “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”

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    Such a truth exists in that statement, as it is only by choosing to connect with the people around us that we are able to experience a fulfilling existence. In America, that is done by expressing a deep affection for our country, by being patriotic.

    There are certain times, particularly when tragedy strikes, that we see people come together in support of America. It is during these times

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  6. Where to Find Some of the Most Famous American Flags

    Where to Find Some of the Most Famous American Flags

    With its 13 stripes and 50 stars, the red, white, and blue banner that serves as the flag of the United States is one of the world’s most recognizable symbols. It even has a slew of nicknames, including “Stars and Stripes,” “Old Glory,” and even simply “The Red, White, and Blue.” There have been many versions of the American flag over the years, but certain variations have a particular historical significance for United States citizens the world over.

    The stories of the most famous flags are preserved in museums throughout the United States, but where exactly are the flags? In some cases, they are kept alongside the stories that go with them, but in others they may not be where one might expect.

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  7. How Many Flags Over Texas?

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    It’s a good question. Texas has been governed by six different nations over the course of its history, it has its own state flag, and there is the matter of Texas’s constitution allowing it to split four new states away from itself, which would all require new flags for themselves. We’ll get into that part of the problem later.

    First, let’s discuss the flags that have

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  8. Declaring Our Independence

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    Did you know that a majority of the colonists felt that declaring independence from the British was a radical idea? Men like Jefferson, Franklin, and the rest of our forefathers were considered radical thinkers for their vision of a free, independent United States of America. So, how did the political climate change to the point men and women picked up arms against the red coats?

    First, it is important to understand how the American colonies came to be in the first place. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, Britain

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  9. Fourth of July: What Were the Actual Events of That Fateful Day?

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    The events leading up to July 4, 1776 are well documented in U.S. history books and historical documents, and almost every American will tell you that we became a free nation on the Fourth. Technically, that's not entirely true.

    The British imposed the Tea Act of 1773, which set everything in motion. Up to that point, the settlers who had come to America were impartial to the rule of their prior homeland. Essentially, the Tea Act was an effort to save the East India Company by lowering their tax rate and giving them a monopoly on the tea trade in the Americas.

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  10. Join or Die: The Flag That United the Colonial Settlers

    1280px-Benjamin_Franklin_-_Join_or_DieBefore the American Revolution, the political temperature throughout the world was shaky all around. France and Britain were in competition to be the most powerful nation in the world, the American Colonies were still settling into their new homelands, deciding if they should expand west or finally organize a revolution to throw off British rule.

    The French claimed the entire Mississippi basin extending from the Gulf of Mexico into Canada. Britain and France had long debated over the borders of their territories in the Americas. Austria changed allegiances, Prussia was backing Britain ... everything was changing.

    At the same time, Benjamin Franklin was

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