When to Fly The American Flag

July 2, 2015

flgfhis1000025883_-00_betsy-ross-heritage-banner-flag-2-5ftx4ft-cotton-by-valley-forgeAny day is a great day to let your colors soar. However, there are some days that are most notably American flag flyin’ days!

  • All Patriotic Occasions
  • State Holidays
  • New Year’s Day, January 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Third Monday In January
  • Inauguration Day, January 20
  • Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12
  • Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February
  • Easter Sunday (variable)
  • Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May
  • Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
  • Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, May 15 (Half Staff)
  • Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
  • Memorial Day, the last Monday in May (Half Staff Until Noon)
  • Flag Day, June 14
  • Independence Day, July 4
  • Labor Day, first Monday in September
  • Patriot Day, September 11 (Half Staff)
  • Constitution Day, September 17
  • Columbus Day, second Monday in October
  • Navy Day, October 27
  • Veterans Day, November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7 (Half Staff)
  • Christmas Day, December 25
  • And such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States

Did you know that there are customary rules for displaying the American flag?

For instance; The flag should only be flown from sunrise to sunset. When the sun goes down, the flag should too! Unless you have it illuminated, then it’s ok to to have on display 24/7.

Also, you should never fly another flag above the American flag. If you must have another flag up, it has to be to the right of the American flag, and on an equal or lower level. Regardless of how many flags you choose to display, the American flag should alway be hung with the stars in the top left corner!

Those are just a few of the guidelines for flying the American flag. There are quite a few others. I never knew that there were so many stipulations on American patriotism. Did you?


State Flags – New York

June 10, 2015

The second to the last of the original thirteen states is New York. Known as the “Empire State”, New York became the 11th state on July 26, 1788. The state’s flag was not adopted until 1901. On the blue flag displays the state’s coat of arms, featuring Liberty, who symbolizes freedom, and Justice, symbolizing justice before the law. The shield that Liberty and Justice each have a hand on pictures the sun rising against a clear sky behind three mountains. There are two boats sailing on the Hudson River. Above the shield is an eagle sitting atop a globe while underneath is a white ribbon reading the state motto Excelssny35n-indoor_-00_front_new-york-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1ior, meaning “Ever Upward”.

New York was actually the United States’ first Capital from 1785-1790, where George Washington was inaugurated as the First US President in 1789. The Erie Canal was constructed and opened in 1825, now part of the New York State Canal System.

New York is also well known for having the largest city in the United States, New York City. There are many famous and historic landmarks where millions of people visit every year, The Statue of Liberty being one of them. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France and was dedicated in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886. The city is nicknamed the Big Apple. (the state’s official fruit is the apple). It is also home to Ellis Island, where more than 12 million immigrants have passed through here between the 1890s and 1954. It is currently part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

Size Matters: While it is the third most populous state in the United States, it is the 27th largest state.

Cars: New York was the first state to require license plates on cars!

Coat of Arms: New York’s Coat of Arms was adopted in 1778, before New York even became a state!

1792: The New York Stock Exchange was founded in New York City.

The United States Flag Store offers different sizes, brands, and types of New York flags and decor, check out what we offer here!


Military Widows

May 22, 2015

Tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery, July 2006Memorial Day weekend has become a time for the first barbeques, outdoor pool celebrations, and huge sales at nearly every department store. For those who have lost a loved one in the armed forces, however, Memorial Day can be a difficult time.  And with thousands of young men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are, in turn, thousands of young widows and widowers looking for support and resources.

Losing a loved one in combat is probably the most difficult and painful time in your life. When facing this crisis, it’s important to remember to give yourself time to grieve your loss and accept any feelings that may arise, including sadness, guilt, anger, isolation, loneliness, or depression.  All these feelings, and any others, are OK: you’ll have good days and bad days, days when your grief is more triggered than others, days when you laugh, and days when you cry.  But if you give yourself time to grieve, life will eventually stabilize.

If you have children, it’s important to be honest with them about your spouse’s death.  Children know when adults are skewing the truth, so explain to them what it means for someone to be physically dead; don’t use euphemisms such as “lost,” “gone away,” or “sleeping.”  Give your children permission—just like you gave yourself—to feel grief or any other feelings, and don’t hide your own feelings from them.  Explain your family’s and the army’s death rituals to your children, and prepare them for all activities including the funeral itself, any viewings, the burial, and any post-funeral gatherings.  If the children are willing, let them be active participants in the funeral and surrounding activities, such as picking out the casket, writing a note to your spouse, selecting what clothes they will wear.

When you are ready, it’s extremely important to evaluate your finances after the death of a spouse.  As a military widow, you will receive a $100,000 death benefit from the government and professional financial advice to help you manage this money and your other funds.  You’ll need to use your death benefit and your other money wisely, to be sure you can pay your mortgage or rent, have health and life insurance as well as any other insurance, and provide for your children.  Be organized about your finances, know where everything is, and have a plan for surviving the worst possible financial situations.

Finally, many of your family and friends may encourage you to start dating.  Don’t let anyone push you into a relationship or dating; only do so when you are ready and feel confident about yourself.  If you feel ready to date, many military widows have a hard time dating because they feel that men are trying to take advantage of them or compare themselves to your late husband.  So when you’re ready to get back into the dating scene, don’t go searching immediately for your life partner (after all, were you searching for your husband before you were married?), have fun, and be confident about your self worth.

There is a great resource for military widows, The American Widow Project, with links to blogs, books, and podcasts.  Be sure to take a look at this website for fantastic online support!


Armed Forces Day

May 15, 2015

Armed ForcesSaturday, May 16, 2015 is Armed Forces Day. According to the Department of Defense website, Harry Truman established this as a national holiday, to thank our military for their service to this great country. Instead of individual Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps holidays, President Truman promoted the unity of our armed forces under the Department of Defense.

According to the DoD website, on Feb 27, 1950, President Truman stated, “Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”

One of the main purposes for setting aside one day for all branches was to educate the public and promote patriotism. Parades, air shows and parties marked this first holiday, with over 40,000 US Troops marching worldwide, and tens of thousands of citizens participating in parades.

In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world.”

JointcolorsOur Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace – many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth – that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”

On that day in history, many other notable events occurred: The Red Cross celebrated 69 years, Britain stopped most of its rationing, and the Soviets returned 23 East German industrial plants to East German authorities.

What will you do this year to honor our military?


State Flags – Virginia

April 27, 2015

VA FlagWe are almost done with the original thirteen colony states! Virginia marks the tenth state to be added into the Union. Becoming a state on June 25, 1788, Virginia was named after Queen Elizabeth I, The Virgin Queen. The state is bordered by two bodies of water, Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean while being surrounded by five other states (Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia). It is also near Washington DC.

Virginia’s state flag is bright blue with a white circle in the center. Inside the center are the words Virginia on top along with the words “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” which means “Thus always to tyrants” in Latin. Also inside the circle are two people. One is the goddess Virtue, who is holding a sword and a spear. Her foot is on a man, who turns out to be the tyrant that she defeated. He has a chain and a whip in his hand while his crown lies fallen nearby.

Governor's Palace Garden

Colonial Williamsburg

Virginia has more presidents born in this state than any other. Eight presidents-George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison (who sadly had a very short presidency of 32 days and was the first U.S. president to die in office), John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson (in beautiful Staunton, to which I have had the honor of visiting a few years back. They have a brilliant Shakespeare house). George Washington’s birthplace in Westmoreland County, Virginia (in Colonial Beach) is marked as a National Monument. There is so much presidential history in this state that it would take a while to get through it all!

peanuts

(c) Josh Westrich—zefa/Corbis

Food Fact! Virginia is also known for its delicious Virginia Peanuts. They are longer than the standard peanut you find in the grocery store.

State Nickname: Old Dominion

~CD


United States Flag Store Supports Community Clothes Closet

April 27, 2015

Jenny R. in Wisconsin included one of ourIMG_1403 flags in a raffled basket for her cause, Community Clothes Closet. United States Flag Store’s garden flag and holder were tucked in an adorable garden basket to be auctioned off at the fashion show on May 17th in Appleton Wisconsin. The Fox Cities Fashion Show is a community-wide event where volunteers model vintage clothing for a fun-filled afternoon. The Community Clothes Closet will use the proceeds from this fundraiser to keep its doors open to those in need. Jenny says, “Thank you for helping us continue our mission of providing free clothing to people in need while maintaining their dignity and offering opportunities to improve their lives.”

If you would like more information about the Community Clothes Closet or our fashion show please visit them here.


State Flags – New Hampshire

April 24, 2015

NHNew Hampshire, tucked away in the very upper right hand corner of the US, is the ninth state in the United States. Becoming a state on June 21, 1788, it is the 46th largest state in the United States.This state is near Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont, plus it is also nearby to Canada.Portsmouth

Although the state flag for New Hampshire was designed in 1784, it was not adopted until 1909. The state flag of New Hampshire consists of a blue background and it features the state seal. Inside the seal has a ship sailing towards a large granite rock on clear blue waters. Behind the ship is a rising sun just below the horizon. Surrounding the seal is the words “Seal of the State of New Hampshire, 1776” along with yellow stars and laurel leaves circling outside.

MasonNew Hampshire got its name when it was named after the English county of Hampshire. It was named by a man named John Mason, who lived in Hampshire, England, as a child. He invested very heavily in this new land, clearing land and building houses in New Hampshire, but had died before he was able to even see his new land.

Nickname: The state’s nickname is “The Granite State” due to the fact that most of the mountains are made of granite.

Size Matters! This state is so small in size that there is only one area code for the entire state!

More Flag Fun: The largest American flag in the US was made in this state in 1914, measuring at 90 feet long and 50 feet high!


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