We rely on our police, firefighters, EMTs, and other public service workers to keep our communities safe. Their jobs are difficult and often dangerous, but the brave men and women who take on these duties rarely give them a second thought. With so much unrest recently, now is a great time to show your support for law enforcement and the important role they fill in our communities. We’ve put together a collection of simple gestures to show your appreciation. Continue reading
The Christian flag is regularly displayed outside of buildings and churches, and in classrooms, but few realize its important history and significance dating back to hundreds of years ago. The flag is typically seen and used in Latin America, North America, and Africa, and it represents Christianity and its community and values. Continue reading
You’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 British Sutherland Highlanders 93rd (Highland) Regiment at the Battle of Balaklava on October 25, 1854 during the Crimean War. During this particular battle, a correspondent for the British newspaper, the Times, wrote that he could see nothing between the charging Russians and the British regiment’s base of operations at Balaklava but the “thin red streak tipped with a line of steel” of the 93rd. This was condensed into “the thin red line”, and the phrase became symbolic of British composure during battle.
Simply put, law enforcement is the barrier, or thin blue line, that protects law-abiding civilians from lawless criminals. AmericanFlags.com is honored to support the men and women of law enforcement by offering a wide variety of Thin Blue Line merchandise.
The 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.
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
And just in case you want to brush up on the lyrics before the sing-a-long, here’s the first stanza, so you can practice!
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
As a symbol of hope and unity, the American flag is without peer, serving to remind all who behold it that, so long as it flies, freedom will triumph.
Flown proudly outside of schools, churches, and government buildings alike, American flags are a solemn gesture of solidarity and patriotism for the greatest country on earth.
Our history is a remarkable one, and its struggle is evidenced in the very fabric of the flag: red for the blood spilt in the name of liberty, white for purity and equality, and blue for justice. Because of this, it is our duty to honor our flags properly as the embodiment of all that makes this country great.
The Flag Code is the formal body of instruction we must follow in order to properly honor the flag. It contains specific instructions regarding how the flag ought to be used and not used. Take a look at some of its most important standards of respect:
- The flag may never be bowed down to anyone or anything.
- The flag should only be flown upside-down as a signal of distress or emergency.
- The flag must never be worn nor draped over any surface for use as decoration. (Bunting should be used for this.)
- The flag should not be used for advertising purposes. Similarly, it should not be printed on any disposable articles, such as napkins or paper plates.
- The flag should not be worn as costume; however, a flag patch is acceptable on the uniforms of military personnel, as well as policeman and other similar groups.
- Whenever the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground.
- When stored, it should be folded crisply and with dignity.
Contrary to some beliefs, the burning of the flag is, in fact, appropriate when the flag is too worn, so long as the burning is done in a dignified and ceremonious manner. Many American Legion Posts, as well as Boy Scout Troops, often have regular flag burning ceremonies to retire flags that are no longer suited for flying.
Raising and Lowering the Flag
As a rule, the flag ought to be displayed only during the hours between sunrise and sunset, although it may be displayed at night so long as it is illuminated. Raised quickly and lowered slowly, the flag is saluted while both ascending and descending.
Flying the Flag Outdoors
When flying the flag outdoors on a staff, the union (the stars) must be level with the peak of the staff, unless it is being flown half-staff. If another flag is being flown from the same staff, the United States flag must be on top (with only certain religious exceptions), and it must be the largest. It should also be the first raised and last lowered. When displayed over a street, the flag should be hung vertically with the union to the north or east.
The Flag Indoors
The flag displayed inside should always have the place of honor, and, when situated behind a speaker or stage, it should be placed to its right (the observer’s left) while other flags should be placed to the left. Additionally, the flag of the United States of America should always be in the center of and at the apogee of any grouping of other flags. If two staffs are crossed, the American flag should be on its own right with its staff in front of the other. If displayed against a wall, the union should be to the observer’s left.
Saluting is one of the most important ways in which to pay respect to the flag. Citizens should place their right hand over their heart to do so properly. Men with hats or caps, however, should remove the headpiece and hold it to their left shoulder over their heart. Uniformed personnel offer their own formal salute.
The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
The pledge of allegiance should be recited while standing at attention, facing the flag and saluting it. Similarly, the national anthem requires that you stand at attention, beginning your salute at the first note, and holding it until completion. If the flag is not visible during the presentation, salute toward the music.
There are few times when the flag means more than in times of mourning. Making sure it is properly honored is of paramount importance.
When raising the flag to half-staff, first raise the flag briefly to the peak before lowering it to the middle-point. When lowering the flag, again, bring it first to peak. It should be noted that on Memorial Day the flag ought to be raised at half-staff until noon, before being raised to full-staff from noon until sunset.
When covering a casket, the union should be at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag is not lowered into the ground.
The United States of America has an extremely proud and storied history. Whether you or your loved ones are veterans, current service members, or simply patriots, there is no better way to honor the struggle and majesty of this country than by honoring the flag. It’s a simple measure, but it’s a powerful one – and it’s one that speaks volumes.
Love America? Want to fly the American flag? The American flag has been around for over 200 years and is one of the hallmarks of America that brings pride to the nation. The American flag represents so many things to so many different people, and on a variety of special occasions you’ll see it flying high to commemorate these special events.
When flying the American flag, you may not think about the events which led up to what it is today. For those who are interested in the history of the American flag, the following is a historic guide of how the American flag became the pride of this great nation today.
How the American Flag Was Born
On the 14th of June, 1777, the Continental Congress first passed an act which established the creation of an official flag which represented the newly found nation. The resolution stated: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” President Harry S. Truman declared that the 14th of June was officially Flag Day.
The Design of the America Flag
When the American flag was first designed, it was first decreed that there should be a stripe and star for each of the thirteen states which represented the original thirteen colonies at that time. The color choices of the flag are said to be chosen because:
- Red represents valor, fervency, and zeal.
- White represents hope, cleanliness of life, purity, and rectitude of conduct.
- Blue represents sincerity, loyalty, justice, truth, and heaven, for reverence to God.
The stars, on the other hand, symbolized sovereignty, dominion, and lofty aspirations.
Within the union, the constellation of stars represents one for each state, and it is emblematic of the Federal Constitution. Washington interpreted the symbolism of the flag as “We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty.”
Timeline of Flag Changes throughout the Years
Over the centuries between 1777 to 1960, there were several more acts passed by Congress which officially changed the arrangement, design, and shape of the American flag. This was to allow for the addition of each new stripe and star that represented the admission of each extra new state that was formed. The following timeline shows these changes throughout the years:
- January 13th, 1794 Act – Provided for fifteen stars and fifteen stripes after May 1795.
- April 4th, 1818 Act – Provided for thirteen stripes and one star to be added to the flag for each state after the admission and recognition of a new state on the 4th of July. This was signed by President Monroe.
- June 24th, 1912 – President Taft’s Executive Order established the proportions of the American flag and provided the arrangement of six horizontal rows of eight stars each. A single point on each of the stars had to be facing upwards.
- January 3rd, 1959 – President Eisenhower’s Executive Order provided for the star arrangement on the flag to be in seven rows of seven stars in a vertical and horizontal manner.
- August 21st, 1959 – President Eisenhower’s Executive Order allowed for the arrangement of nine rows of stars that staggered across the flag horizontally and eleven star rows which staggered vertically.
Origin and Interesting Facts About the
American Flag – Old Glory
The American flag, also known as Old Glory, has seen a very colorful past life. The following are some interesting facts about its origin and life from years gone by:
- The origin of the very first American flag that was constructed is unknown. There are many historians who believe that a Congressman from New Jersey, Francis Hopkinson, designed the flag, while seamstress Betsy Ross from Philadelphia sewed it together.
- Older than the Tricolor of France and Britain’s Union Jack flag, the American flag is the third oldest flag in the world associated with the National Standards. On August 3rd, the American flag was first flown from Fort Stanwix, New York. From August 6th, 1777, the flag was under fire in the Battle of Oriskany.
- On September 11, 1777, the flag was first carried into battle at Brandywine.
- French Admiral, LaMotte Piquet, was the first foreign person who saluted the American flag on February 13, 1778 off Quiberon Bay.
- The nickname “Old Glory” was originally given to an American flag that was 10 ft. x 17 ft. by its possessor, Massachusetts sea captain William Driver of the brig Charles Doggett. Today the name is one of the more popular nickname choices of the American flag. The flag owned by William Driver is said to have survived many defacing attempts during the Civil War. Once the war ended, Driver was allowed to fly Old Glory over the Tennessee Statehouse. Today, Drivers’ Old Glory is now located at the National Museum of American History as a primary artefact. It was last displayed at an exhibition in Tennessee in 2006 with permission of the Smithsonian.
- The National Museum of American History has taken it upon themselves to start a long-term preservation project of the 1814 enormous garrison flag which survived Fort McHenry of Baltimore’s 25-hour shelling by British troops. This garrison flag helped in the creation of “The Star-Spangled Banner” which was an inspiration by Francis Scott Key.
Over time the flag has become weakened and soiled and, in December 1998, was removed from the museum. This long-term preservation effort to save the deteriorating flag began in June 1999 and still continues to this day. Today you’ll find the flag stored in a special low-oxygen and light-filtered chamber at a 10-degree angle. It is specially examined and monitored periodically by specialist at a microscopic level to detect any signs of damage and decay within each individual fiber.
Inspirational Creations Inspired by the American Flag
Today there are a few places in the USA where the American flag is flown 24/7. This is due to law or by presidential proclamation. These places include:
- The White House – Washington DC
- Flag House Square – Baltimore, Maryland
- National Monument and Historic Shrine, Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland
- United States customs of ports
- United States Marine Corps Memorial, Arlington, Virginia
- National Memorial Arch grounds in Valley Forge State Park, Pennsylvania
- Green of the Town, Lexington, Massachusetts
Inspirational Creations Inspired by the American Flag
The American flag has been a great inspiration to many over the years. Some notable inspirations include:
- The Pledge of Allegiance – The Pledge of Allegiance was inspired in 1892 by Francis Bellamy and James B. Upham. A magazine called The Youth’s Companion was the first place it was published.
- The Star-Spangled Banner – The Star-Spangled Banner was written by amateur poet Francis Scott Key on Sept 14, 1814, and it was inspired by the American flag flying over Fort McHenry, Baltimore. In 1931 it officially became the USA’s national anthem.
On Distant Shores and Beyond
The American Flag has been in many different places, over the years; however, some notable places the American flag has been in history include:
- Mount Everest – 1963. Barry Bishop placed the flag at the very top after an exhausting climb.
- Fort Nassau – 1778. On January 28, 1778, the American flag first flew high over foreign territory on the Bahama islands at Nassau. Fort Nassau was captured by America in the war for independence.
- Fort Derne, Libya – 1805. The American flag was flown for the 2nd time in overseas territories over Fort Derne in Libya on the Tripoli shores.
- North Pole – 1909. Robert Peary was the first person who placed the American flag at the North Pole. The flag had been sewn by his wife. He also cut up another American flag, of which he left pieces behind as he traveled the harsh conditions. He is the only person in history who has been honored for cutting up the U.S. flag.
- The Moon – 1969. During the Apollo program, the American flag was placed on the moon of each of the six manned landings. Neil Armstrong was the first to fly the American flag in space in July 1969 when he placed it on the moon.
Displaying the Stars and Stripes: American Flag Etiquette
Displaying the American flag does come with some “rules.” Some American flag etiquette rulesthat you should know include, but aren’t limited to:
- Sunrise to sunset is when the flag is generally displayed. When raised, the flag should be raised up using a brisk movement. When lowered it should be done ceremoniously. The flag shouldn’t be flown in inclement weather.
- Weather permitting, the American flag should be displayed on all holidays and each day near or on main public administration building institutions. On election days it should be placed near every polling building, and near every schoolhouse during the school days.
- When isplayed in a vertical orientation or flat against a window or wall, the “union”of stars should be to the left of the observer and be at the highest level possible.
- When the flag is lowered or raised during a ceremony, or when it passes in a parade, everyone should place their right hand over their heart while facing the flag.
- The American flag shouldn’t touch anything beneath it, nor should it be dipped toward an object or person.
- It should never be used as clothing or to carry things.
- It shouldn’t ever touch the ground.
- It shouldn’t be flown upside down unless in a dire emergency.
- You should never get it dirty or use it as a cover in the rain.
- It should always fall free and shouldn’t be tied.
- The American flag shouldn’t be burnt maliciously or drawn on, as it can be seen as an act of defiance against America.
Special Holidays to Fly the Flag Freely
Throughout the year, there are many different days which allow you to fly the American flag freely and proudly. These days include:
- New Year’s Day – January 1
- Inauguration Day – January 20 (every four years)
- Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. – Third Monday in January
- President’s Day – 3rd Monday in February
- Easter Sunday – Varying, depending on year
- Army Day (Navy only) – April 6
- Birthday of Thomas Jefferson (army only) –April 13
- Pan American Day (embassies in Latin America) – April 14
- Loyalty Day/Law Day (Army only) – May 1
- Mother’s Day– 2nd Sunday in May
- Peace Officers Memorial Day – May 15
- Armed Forces Day – 3rd Saturday in May
- National Maritime Day (Army & Navy only – May 22
- Memorial Day – Last Monday in May
- Flag Day – June 14
- Father’s Day (Army only) – 3rd Sunday in June
- Independence Day – July 4
- Korean War Armistice Day – July 27
- National Aviation Day (Army only) – August 19
- Labor Day – 1st Monday in September
- Patriot’s Day – September 11
- Constitution Day – September 17
- POW/MIA Recognition Day –3rd Friday in September
- Gold Star Mother’s Day (Army only) – Last Sunday in September
- Columbus Day (October 12 at Foreign Service posts) – 2nd Monday in October
- Navy Day (Navy and Marine Corps only) – October 27
- Marine Corps Birthday (Marine Corps only) – November 10
- Veterans Day – November 11
- Thanksgiving Day – 4th Thursday in November
Pearl Harbor Day – December 7
The Importance of Flying the American Flag
Flying the American flag is important. Some of the reasons why it should be flown include that it:
- Represents respect for those who have fallen to make America a free country.
- Represents unity, respect, freedom, idealism, patriotism, and independence as a free nation.
- Reminds those who live in America of the values of the country and nation.
- Helps everyone remember what we all fight to achieve in our lives.
The American Flag Today
Today the flag of the United States of America holds deep and noble significance to the nation and to the entire world. That message is of individual liberty, patriotism, idealism, and national independence. The flag doesn’t represent a royal house or a reigning family, but the 300+ million free indiviuals who are welded together to create one strong, inseparable, and united nation that comes together not only with community interest, but the interests of the rest of the world. This nation is distinguished from other nations for its commitment to clear individual citizen conception of their privileges, their duties, their rights, and their obligations.
The American flag also represents that of the spirit of Liberty, the freedom of human rights, and the opportunity of equal life in the pursuit of happiness. To many, the American flag is a beacon of hope for those who may have lost their way during difficult times. It brings everyone together from different ethnic groups. It also encompasses a rich and vibrant history of struggle, tragedy, heroism, success, and freedom of those before us who altered their lives to make our lives and living environment what it is today.
The flag first rose along the Atlantic seaboard over thirteen states, which featured a population of over 3 million. Today it now flies over all fifty states, extending over great islands and across the continent. Heroes died for it, and citizens have advanced it in modern times. It brings all Americans together with honor and loyalty.
The American flag is a powerful symbol that is seen around the world. Backed by a powerful country, government, and people’s passion, America is a great nation that brings hope to those who have little left.
If you’re visiting or planning to live in America, why not take the time to know the history behind the flag that’s flown? Celebrate all it has to offer and what was sacrificed for it to become what it is today. Why not fly the flag high when you visit America? So, do you have your own U.S.-made American flag?
The years after the founding of the United States of America were not as simple as many might have you believe. Money was scarce, and the fledging nation was trying everything it could to establish itself as an authoritative force. The first real test for the newly formed government was known as the Whiskey Rebellion. At the time, nearly 25 percent of the country’s distilleries were owned by just 1 percent of the population. Because whiskey was so easy to transport, and because it was a commodity that almost everyone needed, it was often considered equivalent with cash. The United States government, under the instruction of then Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, imposed an excise tax on all distilled spirits. The goal of the tax was to help reduce the incurred debt from the American Revolution, but many farmers and distillers saw the tax as no different than the British taxes from which they had recently freed themselves.
Tax collectors were sent throughout the country to collect from those who used spirits as a medium for trade, but many of those producers had no interest in paying the taxmen. Several tax collectors were even tarred and feathered by angry mobs of citizens. The height of the rebellion came about in 1794, when large groups of protesters destroyed the home of John Neville, his district’s excise inspector.
It was in the time leading up to these rebellions that the first examples of the Whiskey Rebellion Flag began to fly. Just as rebels in the American colonies had elected officials to represent them during the Revolution, members of the Whiskey Rebellion formed their own assembly to better represent the interests they felt were being ignored by Congress. The Whiskey Rebellion Flag, with its 13 stars surrounding a majestic eagle carrying a red and white striped banner, came to be the icon of those Americans trying to defend themselves. While historians argue over who created the design, it has been agreed that this flag was one of the most important symbols in our nation’s history. It was only used briefly, but those who stood beneath it hoped to leave behind a stronger legacy, one that portrays a sense that the people of the United States won’t let the government take advantage of us.
The Whiskey Rebellion Flag not only represents the fiery nature of the American people, but it shows how the government can’t be trusted with its power. The sparks that led to this rebellion were of the same flint as those that triggered the American Revolution. To this day, the Whiskey Rebellion flag is seen as a reminder that we must remain vigilant against an oppressive government overtaxing its citizens for the sake of a balanced budget.
The historic Gonzales Flag has soared in popularity given the national debate about gun control. Here’s some history and facts about the controversial flag:
History of the Gonzales Flag
The Gonzales Flag or the “Come and Take It.” flag was created during the battle for Texas independence from Mexico. The flag’s creation was based on a cannon provided by the Mexican government and kept by Texas independence fighters.
An American flag makes for the perfect gift, not just during the holidays, but all year round. After all, the 50 stars and 13 stripes of the Star Spangled Banner never go out of style! No matter who you are shopping for – a friend, family member, or loved one, they will always appreciate a way to show off their patriotic spirit with an American flag.
What better way to thank a veteran for their service in defense of the homeland than with the gift of a high-quality American flag? Serving in the armed forces is one of the highest callings a person can answer, and a great way to show your gratitude for their service to the country is with an American flag. Whether a small flag to add to their car, mobility device, or truck, or a larger banner perfect for carrying and waving in parades, the American flag is the ultimate symbol of a veteran’s service to their country.
If you, or someone you know, just bought a new home, an American flag is a perfect housewarming gift. New homeowners can proudly fly the Star Spangled Banner out front to let everyone in the neighborhood know that a patriot has arrived. With many different pole and mounting designs, there’s a perfect American flag for every house, each flag guaranteed to wave bravely all year long. Mounting an American flag outside your home is also a great way to let your friends and family easily identify your new house, as you can tell them the address and add, “It’s the one with the big American flag out front”. Plus, proudly waving the American flag out front lets the whole world know that you support the country, and everyone who has served in defense of the nation.
Many times, older folks tend to think that today’s younger generations have no civic pride or interest in their country. Not so! Many children are natural patriots, and would love to have their own American flag to wave and cherish. Buying an American flag is the perfect gift for any youngster, and a great way to start a conversation about the values and ideas that the United States was founded on. Spring for a full-size flag, and you can help a young one learn how to properly fold as well as raise the flag out front every morning and evening. American flags are a great gift for children of all ages, and help instill pride in one’s country, sparking a patriotic fire that will last a lifetime.
In some parts, it may not be cool or trendy to admit to being an enthusiastic supporter of America, but there are plenty of budding patriots in the making. Sometimes, the difference between a closet patriot and an openly enthusiastic admirer of the greatest nation on Earth is having an American flag of one’s own. By owning the Stars and Stripes, and seeing the powerful red, white and blue symbols can inspire even the most apathetic citizen into becoming a true patriot. And, for anyone who is already openly excited about their love of country and homeland, the American flag is a perfect gift. After all, there’s no such thing as a real patriot who owns too many flags!
Whether they own a canoe or a 100-foot yacht, every kind of watercraft simply looks better with an American flag. Setting off into the great blue beyond with a gorgeous American flag crisply waving in the breeze will set any mariner’s heart to beating faster. Out there on the water, you can let all the other boats know that you’re a true blue patriot when you’ve got a high-quality American flag flying from the main mast.
Vexillology is a word derived from Latin that refers to the scientific study of the symbolism, history, and usage of flags. It’s also a word that describes people who love flags and know all of the arcane terms for the various parts that make up a flag. More and more people today are becoming interested in flags as a hobby, so why not start off their collection with an excellent American flag? Even the biggest vexillology collection can be enhanced with a big, high-quality Stars and Stripes.
It’s a fact of life that many of our finest teachers are severely underpaid, and with reduced school budgets, often find themselves having to finance teaching aids for their students. For any teacher in your life, why not gift them a wonderful, high-quality American flag? Whether permanently mounted in the corner of the classroom or simply used as a teaching aid, every student will love spending their day under the patriotic shadow of the Stars and Stripes.