Kentucky: The Fifteenth State

July 28, 2015

sky35n-indoor_-00_front_kentucky-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringeThe fifteenth state to enter the United States is Kentucky on June 1, 1792. Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State. This is due to the large patches of grass growing on lawns, farms, and pastures in which blue-purple buds blooming help add a bluish tint during the spring.

Kentucky’s state flag was adopted in 1918, although the design was not finalized until 1928 and changed again in 1962. The state’s flag has a navy blue background with the Kentucky state seal emblazoned on the center. Inside the seal, a pioneer and a statesman are shaking hands with the words United We Stand on top and United We Fall below them. Outside the state seal in yellow letters reads Commonwealth of Kentucky and below are two goldenrod flowers.

Kentucky is actually the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, who was the 16th President of the United States from 1861-1865. He was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin. He lived here with his family until 1816 when the Lincolns picked up and moved to Indiana.

While one of Kentucky’s most well-known cities is Louisville, the state capital is actually Frankfort. It became the state capitol in 1792 after pledging more manpower of a statehouse than any other city. According to the Kentucky state website (2009), Frankfort’s population is slightly less than 30,000 while Louisville and the Louisville metro area’s population is reported to be 1,556,429.

Famous Races: Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby which is the oldest annual horse race in the US. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

State Name: The name Kentucky came from the Iroquois word “Ken-tah-hen” which translates to “land of tomorrow”.


State Post: Vermont

July 22, 2015

The first thirteen colonies were cosvt35n-indoor_-00_front_vermont-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1mplete after the admission of Rhode Island into the union. It had been less than one year when the next state, Vermont, became the first state after the formation of the thirteen colonies, also known as state number fourteen.

Vermont’s state flag was not adopted until 1923 although there was a previous state flag. This flag is a dark blue with the state’s coat of arms on it. In the coat of arms is a pine tree, a cow, some bales of hay, and sheaths of wheat. There are purple mountains in the background against a blue sk. On top of the coat of arms is a stag’s head, and on the bottom boughs of pine needles envelope the coat of arms. There is also a red ribbon which reads Vermont and the state’s motto Freedom and Unity.

Vermont’s name is French for “green mountain”, or mont vert due to the state being surrounded by green mountains. Vermont is also the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, producing over 500,000 gallons per year. While the state’s capitol is Montpelier, the population in the city is less than 10,000 people.

Cool Trivia: Vermont is the state where Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream was founded! The company also gives their ice cream waste to local farmers who then feed it to their hogs(unfortunately, mint Oreo is not their favorite flavor).

Presidential Birthdays:

  • Chester A. Arthur (serving 1881-1885) was also born in Fairfield, VT in 1830.
  • Calvin Coolidge (serving 1923-1929) is the ONLY US president to have been born on the 4th of July in Plymouth, VT.

Rhode Island

July 10, 2015

The final colony to enter the union is Rhode Island on May 29, 1790. It is the smallest state in the United States at Rhode Island is so small that they’re composed of only five counties! Despite being a small state, Rhode Island is well known for it’s large shoreline. Set on Narragansett Bay (Atlantic Ocean), the shoreline runs for nearly 400 miles, earning the nickname “The Ocean State”.

sri35n-indoor_-00_front_rhode-island-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1The Rhode Island state flag was adopted in 1879. The flag is white with a yellow anchor in the center. The anchor is encircled by thirteen yellow stars to represent the thirteen colonies. Underneath the anchor is a light blue ribbon which reads the state motto “Hope”. The colors on this state flag date all the way back to colonial times, the original establishment of Rhode Island, and the Providence Plantations ruled under King Charles II of England.

Rhode Island is home to two war memorials. The first memorial is The Korean War Memorial of Rhode Island in Providence, RI. The memorial was erected to honor Rhode Island citizens who served and died in the Korean War (1950-1953). The names of those Killed in Action (KIA) or Missing in Action (MIA) are engraved in white bricks while the red bricks bear the names of the men and women who served during the war. The second war memorial is The World War I Memorial in Miantonomi Park, RI where it was established in 1921 to memorialize those who had been lost in WWI (1914-1918). The memorial is 100 foot tower of stone along with a 30 foot flagpole at the top. It became listed as a National Historic Park in 1969.

The Ocean: Nearly all residents of Rhode Island live about 30 miles from the ocean!

Early Days: Rhode Island was originally known as “The Colony of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations”, an early settlement. After the American Revolution, the land became known as the State of Rhode Island.


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?


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