Patriotic Decorations to Honor Naval Reserves Day

united states army reserve seal

The approach of Naval Reserves Day is a call to action for patriots to show their support of this honored corps. The U.S. Naval Reserve, as it is known today, was established on August 29, 1916, as World War I waged its way across the Eastern hemisphere.

The brave men and women of the Reserves stand on guard at home, ready to respond when called up during times of national crisis — a duty that now stands at over a century old. Their slogan: Ready then. Ready now. Ready always.

History

Navy Reservists have served in nearly every armed conflict in which the United States was involved, from World War II to the Korean and Vietnam Wars to Desert Storm to the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the bloody wars that emerged thereafter in that corner of the world. It is the duty of every Navy Reservist to balance their life between the responsibilities of soldier, patriot and civilian. While this may not seem so daunting a task, there is truly nothing braver than an American individual can aspire to be. These men and women are asked to set aside their civilian clothes, their families, their careers when called upon to serve their country — and they do so without hesitation. Therefore, to honor their sacrifice and show respect for their service, Naval Reserves Day is recognized and celebrated annually.

navy base black white

Today, there are over 60,000 men and women serving in the Navy Reserve. These individuals maintain their military training at all times and support all United States peacekeeping and humanitarian aid missions as needed. The Navy Reserve makes up a full quarter of the overall Navy, and each member is trained in the same way and expected to serve in the same way as Active Duty military personnel.

Furthermore, anyone between the ages of 18 and 39, who can pass a physical exam and holds a high school diploma, can join the Navy Reserve with or without prior military experience. The Navy Reserve offers its men and women a chance to serve in the military while, at the same time, providing high-class military training that can directly translate to civilian life.

united states navy flag

Patriotic Decorations

One way that civilians can honor this day and the service of these men and women is by proudly displaying patriotic symbols in their homes so that the Navy Reserve is remembered and given the respect it is due. AmericanFlags.com offers a wide variety of patriotic goods for each branch of the military as well as the country. Consider a Military-Grade Navy Flag that can flutter proudly in the front yard, reminding everyone to stop and show respect.

This flag, made of a heavy-duty polyester and officially licensed by the United States Armed Forces, is long-lasting and durable, able to withstand any amount of extreme weather conditions. This Navy Flag will last long beyond Naval Reservists Day and continue to wave proudly for years to come, just as the Naval Reserve will continue to stand strong for future generations.

navy seal roped bracelet

For something more portable, look to the U.S. Navy Survival Bracelet, made of 14 feet of military spec paracord. Unique to this bracelet is that it can be unraveled in case of emergency, making it equally fashionable, patriotic and highly useful. These bracelets are unisex and adjustable to can fit any wrist. Like all AmericanFlags.com products, the U.S. Navy Survival Bracelet is made in America, and a portion of the proceeds goes to benefit Veterans’ charities. Support the Navy and support our veterans through this sensible purchase.

engraved walnut flag case

In memory of a lost family member who was in the Naval Reserve, AmericanFlags.com offers a beautifully crafted, solid walnut flag case with an Heirloom Walnut Finish that comes with its own specific service medallion (the Seal of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard). It also allows for customization in the form of an engraving plate, where the name of a fallen hero can be forever etched into honored memory.

This flag case also comes with an insert for hanging that individual’s medals of distinction, earned during a lifetime of valued service to this country. Honor a loved one and place their folded flag in this beautifully designed case hand-made in North Carolina for all to see, honor and remember.

Final Thoughts

As Patriotic Americans, it is our duty not only to acknowledge the service of those men and women who are a part of the Armed Forces, but to understand that they are owed respect, honor and support of the civilian sector. By proudly displaying the names and seals of the Navy as Naval Reserve Day quickly approaches, we display our appreciation for the sacrifice of the few in service to the many. Ready then. Ready now. Ready always.

Celebrating 2017 VFW Award Winners

Celebrating 2017 VFW Award Winners

In July 2017, the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization hosted their 118th annual convention at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. VFW National Commander Brian Duffy presided, and the keynote speaker this year was Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin, who joined the award recipients and other guest speakers. Continue reading

Aim High: History and Significance of Air Force Day

On a chilly, windswept dune in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville Wright experienced the longest controlled, powered flight yet known to humankind. The date was December 17, 1903.

The initial flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 10 feet per second. The day culminated with a flight of 59 seconds, which traveled across 852 feet of sand. Continue reading

The Flag of the United States Marine Corps

US marine corps flag

The emblem of the United States Marine Corps is one of the most recognizable symbols in America. The Corps accepts only the most elite, dedicated soldiers, and that dedication truly lasts a lifetime. Marines proudly display the Corps emblem on their vehicles, their clothing and even their skin!

The flag of the Marine Corps flies outside homes across the country, showing support for the members of this elite group that protects our country. While the flag displays the iconic emblem, there are also other important features to understand on this proud banner and the history behind its creation. Continue reading

Celebrate Armed Forces Day with Military Gifts

Armed Forces Day has been recognized as an official national holiday since 1961. America celebrates Armed Forces Day on the third Saturday of May every year, and in 2017, May 20th is the day to remember.

Since Armed Forces Day is not far off, many of us want to find the perfect gift to show our love and support for the U.S. military and their families. Showing support by visiting military air shows and attending patriotic parades it a wonderful way to spend the day. Giving a gift, however, serves as a constant reminder of our American pride all year long.

American flag against blue sky Continue reading

The Flag of the U. S. Navy

United States Navy flagOf all the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Navy may be the most diverse. Everyone thinks of the Navy as just sailors, protecting our country from the deck of a ship, but the Navy has a rich intelligence branch, a naval air force and a special operations force, the Navy SEALS.

The brave men and women who serve our country in the Navy are much more than sailors patrolling our waters. With their prestigious history of service, it is fitting that the Navy has a flag as proud as their servicemen. Continue reading

Semaphore Flags

11949934001267935583semaphore_positions.svg.medDid that get your attention? It should have, because that motion with the flags in that position is the internationally designated semaphore signal for “Attention!” It also means “Error,” but we can skip that for now.

Semaphore flags are the end result of a signaling system developed in the late 1600s by Robert Hooke (of microscope fame). He presented it to the Royal Society, but they failed to do anything with it. A century later, it was adapted and used by Claude Chappe in France, eventually covering much of the country and allowing for very rapid transmission of information across vast distances.

Chappe’s design was a tower with a large crossbar at the top, with arms at either end that each could be arranged in seven different positions. The crossbar itself could assume four different positions, allowing for a total of 196 different configurations. This allowed for a sophisticated system of phrases and messages to be sent to another tower within extreme visual distance, which would then copy it, allowing the next tower to copy it, and so on.

These towers were so successful that the French government initially rejected Samuel Morse’s telegraph on the basis that the wires could be too easily cut. Eventually, of course, they fell out of favor, largely because they were pretty much useless at night, and when they could be seen, everyone could see them, so secret signals were suddenly no longer as much so.

Before that time, though, they inspired the development of the smaller version used shipboard to great effect. Those were flags, and that’s why we’re here.

US_Navy_030611-N-3160B-003_Signalman_Seaman_Adrian_Delaney_practices_his_semaphore

Semaphore flags are (if on a ship) red and yellow or (if on land) blue and white. The colors are split diagonally with the red hoist-side and on top. (Although the colors don’t matter: the land-based version is blue with a white square in the center. It’s just to make the arm position more obvious.)

The arm position is what gives the letter – or numeral, depending on what you need to signal. The flags do not overlap unless they are in the “rest” or “space” position, in which case they are directly in front of the signaler with both arms straight down. The alphabet is laid out similarly to a wheel: each arm can take one of eight positions, and the combination of the positions of the two arms denotes the letter. Six of the letters require an arm to be brought across the body so the flags are on the same side, and there is a unique signal to denote that the signaler is switching to numbers. (The switch back to letters is denoted by signaling “J”.)

Starting in the rest position with both flags in the down position, the right arm rising to low gives “A”, and rises a quarter-rotation for B, C, and D. Then the right arm drops back to down, the left arm goes to the high position for “E” and follows down to “G”.

Easy enough, right? Then “H” is done by the right hand being straight out and the left hand going across to the low position underneath. Keep your left hand there for “I” while raising the right hand up to the high position. Skip “J” for now; “K” continues the same circle except for convenience’s sake you swap arms. That is to say, right hand in the low position, left hand in the up position. “L” through “N” continue the sweep, then you move your right hand up one more to straight out and cross your left hand over again. Then the pattern continues – it’s actually much easier than it sounds from just reading it.

We did imply we would come back to “J”. That’s a unique position where your right hand is straight up and your left hand is straight out. This may seem odd, but it’s a consequence of assigning numbers to the first series of letters; the signal to switch back has to be significantly different so the intent is clear.

Semaphore is not outdated quite yet; it has significant use as a quick signaling system for areas – such as in the mountains or onboard ship – where visual clarity is good but the distance between participants may be too great for verbal clarity. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have used it (without flags, unfortunately) for years in such situations.

Of course, the most famous use of semaphore is probably Monty Python’s depiction of the classic British pastime of reciting Wuthering Heights completely in semaphore, as Emily Bronte probably originally wished.