State Flags – Connecticut

March 27, 2015

CT

Just one week after Georgia was admitted into the Union, Connecticut became the fifth state to enter on January 9, 1788. Their state flag was adopted in 1897. On their state flag is a shield depicting three grapevinesCT Flag. These grapevines represent early English settlers in the state. Underneath the shield is a ribbon, written in Latin Qui Transtulit Sustinet, or He Who Transplanted Still Sustains, in English. This phrase is the state motto.

Unlike many of the previous states, Connecticut is not named after a person. This state is actually named after the Connecticut River, which that was named Quinnehtukqut by the Mohegans in the Algonquian language. This river was used by the Native Americans for many years who lived in the area.

The state’s capital is Hartford. A few historical events in Hartford include the first FM station to broadcast and The Boys and Girls Club which was founded in 1860. The city is only 18 square miles and houses 125,000 residents. Connecticut ranks the 48th largest state with just 5,544 square miles and 8 counties.

Presidential History: 43rd US President George W. Bush (2001-2009) was born in New Haven on July 6, 1946.

  • This state also has a Thames River, but not to be confused with the one in England!
  • One of the major industries in Connecticut is actually insurance with many insurance companies being founded. Because of this, Connecticut is known as the Insurance Capital of the World!

~CD


State Flags – Georgia

March 20, 2015

IMG_20150309_135339_649Georgia is the fourth state into the union. It became a state on January 2, 1788, right after the new year. Georgia is known as the Peach State due to a large amount of peaches that grow there (peaches became the official state fruit in 1995).

In my research, I learned that Georgia originally had a different state flag. Several versions, to be exact, but the most well-known version is the 1956-2001 flag.

The first flag consisted of the Confederate flag along with a blue background with the Great Seal of the State of Georgia. However, after flying for 45 years, the Georgia state flag was changed. The Confederate flag on the first state flag was controversial, reminding the people of Georgia of their darker days in history. The request to change the flag dates as far back as the 1980s. The request was to return to the pre-1956 design which was much like the then-current flag but with three stripes: two red, and one white.

The bill for a new flag was finally passed in January 2001. The new flag that would be flown over Georgia was designed by Cecil Alexander, an Atlanta based architect. The new flag consisted of a blue background along with the seal of the State of Georgia in a gold color. Around the seal are 13 white stars to represent the original 13 colonies. Underneath is a gold ribbon labeled “Georgia’s History” with five flags. The first flag is the original stars and stripes with just thirteen stars, next is one of the coat of arms designs. Then comes the 1920s flag, followed by the 1956-2001 flag, and a 2001-2003 version. Last but not least is the current flag of Georgia.

This 2001 incarnation of the state flag flew for just two years until 2003. While some were pleased with the new design, others were still not satisfied. Some felt it was an insult to their history and heritage. Finally, in May 2003, Governor Sonny Perdue signed House Bill No. 380 into law. The 2003 flag is reminiscent of the flag from the 1920s but the lower red stripe is longer and the blue is a little cut back as a result. This flag has finally won the favor of the people of Georgia.

Travel: Although Georgia is a coastal state, there are two islands to which you can actually drive: Tybee Island and Jekyll Island.

In addition to peaches, peanuts are also grown in this state.

~CD


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17, 2015

Barry's TeaEveryone associates St. Patrick’s Day with wearing green but it’s much more than that. Over the years, I have learned there are more ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s. Being an American, I have only seen people wear green, go to parties, and hold parades in the news. It wasn’t until recent years I found out that people made a tasty dish called Corned Beef and Cabbage (even if it’s just in the States). While I spent my St. Patrick’s Days at school growing up, it was still more fun to wear green and watch everyone else doll themselves up in wacky getups, wigs, jewelry, etc (plus all the kids got a green shamrock cookie at lunch)! We would read stories about Ireland and learn more about their culture. When I learned St. Patrick’s Day was also about feasting, I was very excited since my interest in UK and Irish culture has increased over the years and I love food. I have tried soda bread which is delicious but I have yet to try boxty (Irish potato pancake).

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland who was known for bringing Christianity to Ireland. He was originally from Britain but later came to Ireland to live. It is said March 17th is the day Saint Patrick died. St. Patrick’s Day was created as a religious holiday meant to celebrate his life and work but has become a public holiday in Ireland since 1903.

St. Patrick’s Day is more important on the other side of the pond. While March 17th is a normal day for people in the United States with the addition of green to our wardrobes, it is actually considered a public holiday in Ireland, so places like banks, government offices, and even schools are closed. Since it is Ireland’s national holiday, it is a day for families to observe. Families will attend mass while wearing their best clothes to honor Saint Patrick while parades are held celebrating Irish culture. Once mass is complete, they usually join together for a feast though not with corned beef and cabbage, but rather bacon and cabbage. This dish is enjoyed with some parsley sauce, maybe with a bit of mustard and some potatoes.

While people are drowning shamrocks and toasting a certain beverage that is sometimes dyed green for the occasion, I will be St. Patrick’s Day with some Barry’s Tea imported from Ireland. Pairs up very well with a nice soda bread (especially a freshly baked one that’s buttered up while it’s nice and hot. You can also celebrate with Bewley’s, Twinings, or even our very own blend.

And so I raise my teacup in honor of Saint Patrick saying this old saying, “May your blessings outnumber, the shamrocks that grow, And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.” Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A few random St. Paddy’s facts:IMG_20150310_141024_498

  • Pubs weren’t actually allowed to open on St. Patrick’s Day until the 1970s!
  • The color of St. Patrick was not originally green but instead was blue! That changed in the 19th century when green became a more official color for Ireland.
  • Saint Patrick’s given name was Maewyn Succat. He adopted the name Patrick once he became a priest.
  • The first American St. Patrick’s Day celebration took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737

~ CD

Editor’s Note: Green is typically for the Catholics on St. Patrick’s Day. As a Protestant, it is appropriate for me to wear orange. But since that is not commonly known, I typically don’t. :)


President’s Day

February 16, 2015

IMG_0434_2President’s Day celebrates the presidents of the United States of America. This holiday is observed on the third Monday in February despite Abraham Lincoln’s birthday being on February 12th while George Washington’s is just ten days later, on February 22nd. Fun Fact: Not just Washington and Lincoln were born in February. William Henry Harrison and Ronald Reagan are also two other presidential February birthdays.

When George Washington was alive in the 1700s, his birthday was celebrated by much of the US, therefore observing it as a holiday. President’s Day was established in 1885 for George Washington since as he was the first President. In 1968 the first attempt to make this a national holiday failed but the second attempt (1971) was successful. Thanks to this, federal offices, schools, and even the post office will be closed to observe Washington’s Birthday, called the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to give workers a three-day weekend.

However, it’s not just Washington who gets all the attention. Some states celebrate Washington, others celebrate Washington and another person, while others celebrate both Washington and Lincoln, like my home state of California. usa46n_os_-00_main_4ft-x-6ft-nylon-us-flag-online-stores-brand_1

For President’s Day, you can raise Old Glory in honor of the presidents. It is a great way to show your patriotism and respect for these pioneers in American history. Of course, you can always raise the flag for any president, veteran, or service member you would like to celebrate.

Did you know? In the 1980s, retail stores began to use President’s Day as a marketing opportunity. Since people start to get income tax checks this time of year and many businesses are closed for the holiday, it gave consumers the benefit of time and availability to hit the sales, and the retailers a boost to their after-Christmas slumps.

~CD


State Flags – New Jersey

February 3, 2015

newjersey-printed-poly_1New Jersey places third into the union and as one of the original thirteen colonies. New Jersey is dubbed “The Garden State” and officially became a state on December 18, 1787.

The flag of New Jersey has a light yellow-brown background with part of the state seal in the center. The state seal features three plows inside a blue shield in between two women. The woman on the left is the Goddess of Liberty, who is holding a staff and the cap of freedom; on the opposite side is the Goddess of Agriculture, who holds the cornucopia full of food. Above the shield and the two woman is the head armor of a knight, a horse’s head, and blue filigrees. On the bottom is a ribbon which bears “”LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY” and “1776” (Random Fact: This state flag was adopted on March 26, 1896, a little less than 109 years after admission into the union).

New Jersey was given to James the Duke of York from his the brother, King Charles II of England. James later gave it to Sir George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley. James named New Jersey in honor of Carteret who was born in and was the former governor of Jersey, which is a British island in the English Channel.

trenton_battle_banner_06bThe Battle of Trenton was a small but important battle in the American Revolution, taking place in Trenton, NJ. In 1776, the day after Christmas and General George Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware, he led his Continental Army against Hessian soldiers. Very soon all the Hessians were captured with very little damage to our Army. This battle’s significance was its much-needed boost to the Continental Army’s morale. Reenactors come to Trenton each year to relive this victory.

eagle_01Today New Jersey boasts several bald eagle nests with action cams to protect this endangered species. Volunteers observe and collect helpful data, clocking in lots of hours noting courtship, mating, feeding, and other rituals.

Another fact: New Jersey is the 47th largest state in the United States with only 8,722 square miles.

Want more fun facts about New Jersey? Check out this website.


State Flags – Pennsylvania

January 20, 2015

The next state in this series is Pennsylvania, the very state out of which US Flag Store is based. Number two in the union, Pennsylvania became a state just days after Delaware did, on December 12, 1787.

PA FlagPennsylvania’s flag was officially adopted in 1907. The flag has a dark blue background with two harnessed draft horses holding the state’s coat of arms that hold the state seal. Inside it are a ship, a plow, 3 sheaves of wheat, with a bald eagle sitting on top of it. Below is a stalk of corn, an olive branch, and a draped red ribbon bearing the words, “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence.” The coat of arms was of the Penn family after which Pennsylvania was named. This symbol first appeared on the currency that was issued by the state in 1777 until two years later when it was taken and added to the state flag.

Pennsylvania is currently the sixth most populous state in the US with a 2013 population estimate of 12,773,801. While Harrisburg is the capital, Philadelphia is the most populous city in Pennsylvania with an estimate of 1,553,165 compared to Harrisburg with just 49,188.

Liberty NPS

NPS Photo

This state is rich in American history. The Liberty Bell is located at The Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of the symbols of the United States, this bell has the eponymous crack. How did it get this crack? In 1752, when the bell first arrived in Philadelphia and was cracked during a test strike. Fun Fact: The Liberty Bell is composed of exactly 70% copper, 25% tin, and bits of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold, and silver, weighing at 2,080 pounds.

independence-hall-philadelphia-ext-night-587

Visit Philadelphia Photo (G Widman)

Another historic site is Independence Hall, which is visited by millions each year and open every day of the year. Independence Hall is the birthplace of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and  America itself. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed in the Assembly Hall. Fun Fact: George Washington actually ran his two terms as President from Philadelphia.

Did you know? The blue in the Pennsylvania state flag is the same shade of blue that is used in the US Flag!

~CD


State Flags – Delaware

January 14, 2015

Welcome to the first post in my series of Fifty State Flags. I am very excited to be given the opportunity to present this to all of you. Please bear with me for I am a little rusty on my US History but once I get fired up, I am going to rock this!license plate

The very first state in the United States, Delaware, is a small but important state in our history. The license plates even boast “The First State.” Delaware is one of the original thirteen colonies but the first to take the leap and become a state.

While Delaware became a state on December 7, 1787, the flagDelawarewasn’t adopted until July 24, 1913. According to the state website delaware.gov, the flag is blue with a buff-colored diamond and the Delaware coat of arms is placed in the middle. The 1787 date is underneath the diamond to commemorate Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the federal constitution.

The state was named after Virginia’s first governor Thomas West, also known as Lord De La Warr. Delaware is a good state to experience the four true seasons, which includes my dream seasons – the changing of the leaves in the fall and snowy winters (I’m from California and we get nothing but sun, sun, one day of rain, and more sun all year long). While Dover is the state capital, Wilmington is the most populous city in Delaware with 36,047 vs. 70,851 (2010 US Census).

I am glad to say that I traveled to Delaware myself in the summer of 2011. It is a beautiful state but unfortunately I did not see much since I was on the way to New York with my fiance and his family.

Fun Facts: Delaware ranks first in the nation for avg. internet connection speed and third among the states for knowledge jobs (IT). The estimated 2014 population is 935,000 and there were 508,000 acres of Delaware farmland in 2012. 65% of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in DE, and tourism currently generates $441m in tax revenue. (delaware.gov)

~CD


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