The Story Behind Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

April 18, 2018

Mexico 4ft x 6ft Nylon Flag with Pole Hem Only - Banner

Cinco de Mayo, which means May 5 in Spanish, is probably one of the most misunderstood holidays that Americans celebrate. In fact, Cinco de Mayo isn’t even a holiday, Mexican or American. May 5th isn’t even Mexico’s Independence Day. That is celebrated on September 16.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect that debt.  The French army, under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez, led 6,000 French troops out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his headquarters in the north, Mexican President Benito Juarez rounded up a motley force of 2,000 loyal men and sent them to Puebla.

The Battle of Puebla lasted from daybreak to early evening when the French finally retreated after losing nearly 500 soldiers.  Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash. Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, the success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and strengthened the resistance movement. In 1867 – thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the American Civil War – France finally withdrew.

Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration.  Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events.  It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is more of an American celebration than a Mexican holiday.  A celebration that includes parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing, Mexican food and probably a few margaritas.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions.  Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.


Choosing a New Flagpole

April 10, 2018

Eder Commerical Grade Sectional 25ft Flagpole

With warmer weather finally here, now is the perfect time to put up a flagpole and raise your flags. To start with, you will need a good flagpole. But who has quality flagpoles? That’s where  Eder Flagpoles come in. Manufactured in Wisconsin, Eder Flags are the largest manufacturer of flags and flagpoles in the United States. Eder Flagpoles are made for both  indoor and  outdoor use. They also make some of the best quality flags out there. These flags are durable thanks to poly-max, a material that allows the flag to last much longer.

Wall Mount Flag Poles are some of the most common flags you’ll see when you are driving through the neighborhood. If you want to get one of your own, then you can try  Valley Forge’s . Their flag kits are perfect for your home or business and are easy to put together, especially since each kit comes with the appropriate accessories. Just like Eder Flags, Valley Forge makes their flags and kits right here in the USA.

Finally, we have our flag pole  accessories which are crucial to having an outdoor flag and keeping it looking beautiful.  Flagpoles lighting, parts, and more are available for everything your outdoor flag needs. Add some flair to your flagpole with ornaments ranging from stars to eagles or stay simple with conventional  ball ornaments .

Enjoy your flag outdoors and have a wonderful Spring and Summer!

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions.  Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.


Vexillology – For the Love of Flags

April 4, 2018

Vexillology is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags.  While it is a tough word to pronounce, vexillology is certainly an interesting field of study.  Someone who studies flags is a vexillologist and someone who designs flags is a vexillographer.

Derived from the Latin word vexillum , the Romans used this term to refer to a kind of standard with a fabric hung from a horizontal crossbar on a pole.  It is the nearest equivalent in the classical languages to what we call a flag today.

The term vexillology was born in 1957 by United States scholar, Whitney Smith Jr. (February 26, 1940 – November 17, 2016) and first appeared in print in 1959. Smith went on the co-found “The Flag Bulletin,” the world’s first ever journal dedicated to flags in 1961. One year later he established the official Flag Research Center in Winchester, Massachusetts.

Smith went on to organize the First International Congress of Vexillology with Klaes Sierksma in Muiderberg, Netherlands in 1965. Both Smith and Sierksma joined Louis Mühlemann in founding the International League of Vexillologists and were members of its Governing Board from September 1965, and operated until September 1967. The league was replaced by the International Federation of Vexillological Associations (known by its French acronym FIAV) with Smith as vice-president of the Provisional Council as of September 3, 1967. In 1969, Smith moved from being FIAV Provisional Council vice-president to being the first Secretary-General of FIAV.  Smith was also responsible for founding the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) and the Flag Heritage Foundation.

Smith wrote 27 books on the subject of flags including Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, The Flag Book of the United States, and Flag Lore of all Nations. Smith was the designer of the national flag of Guyana (pictured below) and served as a vexillographer to a number of governments and organizations.  Smith was also part of the committee that developed the flag of Bonaire.

Guyana Flag

Smith described the process of creating a design that is appropriate to the subject of a flag with Britannica, stating “The best symbols should have a clear meaning. The essential idea is to create something pleasing but also significant” – Flags of the World: 5 Questions for Vexillologist Whitney Smith Encyclopedia Britannica Blog June 2011

Since World War II, interest in flags has expanded beyond their creation and use. Political scientists, historians, sociologists, and others recognize them as artifacts, expressions of the cultures of certain times and places. Learning about flags is fun (just ask Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory on CBS) and connects to such a wide range of other things to learn:  art and design, history, politics, cultural geography, religion, law.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions.  Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.


Getting Your Flagpole Ready for the Season

March 27, 2018

Super Tough Heavy Duty 20ft Residential flagpole with US made nylon flag

Your flagpole is an investment, and with proper care and maintenance, it can stay looking great for years to come. A rule of thumb is to inspect your flagpole and its parts whenever you replace your flag. Flagpoles can be subjected to extreme weather that include high winds, extreme humidity or extreme cold. Now that spring is here, it’s a great time to do a little spring cleaning on your flagpole and accessories.

Most aluminum flagpoles can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water. By simply attaching a soapy sponge to the halyard, you can clean the pole by raising and lowering the halyard with the sponge attached. If cleaning the flagpole requires more than soap and water, purchasing aluminum cleaner from your local auto parts store will do the trick.

Fiberglass flagpoles can be cleaned with a mild bathroom cleaner and water. Flagpoles with anodized finishes, such as clear, bronze or black, do not require cleaning. The anodized color serves as a protective coating, and cleaning the surface can actually damage them and void the warranty.

Weather can also affect the flagpole’s halyard . The cold weather can cause a halyard to degrade and dry-rot, while salt air can cause the halyard’s fibers to appear “rotted out”. Wind, rain, and humidity can stress the halyard and cause it to fray as well.  Replacing the halyard doesn’t have to require a bucket truck, though. A great tip is to just tape the end of the new halyard to the old one and pull it up the flagpole and through the truck’s pulley. A little tape around a frayed halyard end will help it pass through the truck’s pulley smoothly. Be sure not to overlap the two ends or use an excessive, bulky amount of tape. You want the rope to glide through the pulley easily.

You’ll also want to replace snaphooks and snaphook covers when you’re replacing the halyard.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions.  Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.


Annin Flags – Proudly Making Our Country’s Symbol Since 1847

March 20, 2018

Annin Flagmakers

Annin Flagmakers, known as the premier flag manufacturer in the United States, have been making Old Glory since 1847. Annin is a 6th generation family owned and operated company headquartered in New Jersey (since 1988) and with factories in Ohio and 2 factories in Virginia.  All of Annin’s American, state, Armed Forces, international, religious flags, and all of their patriotic decorations are make in the United States, with materials that are domestic in origin.

With such a long history, Annin has learned quite a bit in making flags from the creation of long lasting fabrics and inks, to the dense embroidery of the rich star fields. Today, Annin Flagmakers applies the best of 21st century technology in their domestic factories:

– U.S. flags are manufactured with advanced stand-up sewing production techniques.

– Their state, international, and custom flags are digitally printed and screen-dyed to exact color specifications.

– Together with their art department, Annin constantly monitors dye formulas through in-house research and testing laboratories.

– Annin’s distribution systems are in real-time compliance with customer requirements.

Annin’s flags have participated in some rather important world events (among others):

  • The inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, as well as the flag that draped his casket
  • The arrival of Commander Robert E. Peary at the North Pole in 1909 and Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd at the South Pole 21 years later
  • Raising the flag by U.S. Marines atop Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima in 1945
  • America’s 1976 Bicentennial celebration

United States Flag Store is proud to offer Annin’s American flags in an assortment of sizes, plus pleated fans and pulldowns.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions.  Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.


Easter Flags

March 14, 2018

Celebrate Easter and the beginning of Spring with our bright and colorful Easter flags. United States Flag Store carries flags for your standard flagpole and for your garden that will add fun and whimsy. Our flags are made for outdoor use so they are fit to withstand most weather conditions There are several designs to choose from in both banner flag designs and garden flag sizes.

We also have magnetic covers to decorate your mailbox.

Bunny and Chick Magnetic Mailbox Cover

Our decorative banner flags are made of high quality polyester with applique or embroidered lettering and images. Each flag measures 28 inches x 40 inches and the designs are readable from both sides.
Our banner flags feature vibrant designs such as the Bunny & Chick banner flag and the Easter Eggs banner flag. You’re sure to find the perfect banner flag for your wall mount flag pole.

Bunny and Chick Easter Banner Flag

Easter Eggs Banner Flag

United States Flag Store also carries religious themed Easter flags, too. Beautiful designs such as The Lord Reigns and Floral Cross flags are also available in both banner and garden sizes.

The Lord Reigns Easter Banner Flag

Floral Cross Banner Flag

Measuring 12 inches x 18 inches, our garden flags are just as vibrant and durable as our banner flags. Check out the Easter Beauty and the Easter Bliss garden flags, plus many more wonderful designs to decorate your yard.
Easter Beauty Garden Flag
Easter Beauty Garden Flag

Of course, if you do not have one, you can get a garden flagpole to start off with. It’s durable and easy to set up with just three pieces. These are made for 12 inch x 18 inch flags.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions. Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.

Have a wonderful Easter holiday!


Fun with State Flags

March 9, 2018

Each state is defined by many things including their name, their borders, and especially their flag. While many states went with their state seal on a blue background design (18* to be exact), some states went in other directions.

The background color for the Delaware and New Jersey state flags were both influenced by George Washington’s uniforms.

The Daughters of the American Revolution state chapters held contests to select new flags in the following states: Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

Here are other interesting facts about some of our state flags:

The Texas state flag is the oldest state flag to keep its original design (1839).

The Hawaii state flag is the only state flag to incorporate Great Britain’s Union Jack.

The Iowa state flag resembles the French flag by design. It is meant to reflect the state’s history as part of the Louisiana Territory. However, the prominent display of a bald eagle signifies that the state is American through and through.

The Arizona state flag design was voted as the official flag in 1917 even though the governor, Thomas Edward Campbell, refused to endorse it.

The Maryland’s State Flag combines two coats of arms: the gold and black George Calvert, Lord Baltimore and the red and white colored arms of the Crossland family. During the Civil War, Confederate sympathizers adopted the Crossland arms while Union loyalists waved the Calvert arms. In the aftermath of the war, the two were combined and was officially adopted as the state flag in 1904.

The New Mexico state flag was voted best in the nation by the North American Vexillological Association in 2001.

The Ohio state flag is the only non-rectangular state flag in the country.

* Utah’s state flag was originally a white image of the state seal on a blue field. However, when the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers ordered a custom copy of the flag for the battleship USS Utah, the flag arrived with the seal having been rendered in color with a gold circle around it. Rather than re-order the flag, the state legislature adopted the new design.

Check out our page on State Flags.  We have a wide assortment of size and fabric choices for each state. United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions.  Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.