Expressing NASCAR Enthusiasm

February 16, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! I’m almost certain you know what that means. It’s NASCAR season. All of the great drivers including Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart are showing off their amazing driving skills.

NASCAR Flags

NASCAR season is like Christmas – a time to get together with friends and family. Yes, I know the festivities associated with racecar driving. Everyone gets together on the weekends to root for his or her favorite driver and revel in the excitement of the race. Adults are inside playing cards and watching the race while the kids are outside playing.

I don’t know about all of you, but I enjoy showing my enthusiasm for the sport of racecar driving. My house has NASCAR flags inside and out showing how  much I love racing. Seeing as I drive as if I belong on a racetrack my vehicle dons NASCAR car flags too. I am telling you people I am an absolute racing fanatic.

It gets better, I have NASCAR collectible cars in display cases to keep them from getting dusty or ruined. Hey, you never what can happen when you have a house full of people over. Another fun NASCAR item I have is a checkered flag for people to walk through when leaving or entering my house. It makes them feel like winners and who doesn’t like that feeling?

Come on people, what are you waiting for? Get your home decorated for NASCAR season and show your support for your favorite driver. See you at the races!


What Are the Rules of American Flag Etiquette?

February 12, 2009

American Flag

Do you know the rules of American flag etiquette? There are rules dictating flying at half-staff, when to fly the flag, carrying the flag, folding the flag, and displaying with other flags. I do realize the rules of etiquette for an American flag may seem complicated, but they are quite simple to follow.

Flying at Half-Staff

“Half-staff” means the position of the American flag is halfway between the top and bottom of the staff. Flag etiquette dictates the flag to be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day until noon, then raise it back to the top, Patriot Day (September 11), Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7), and death of a government official.

When to Fly the American Flag

There are several designated dates to fly an American flag throughout the year. The most noted are Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day. In addition, to specific days of the year is time of day constraints. For flags that are stationary on a building or a flagpole it is customary to fly them from sunrise to sunset. American flags can be flown at night provided it is properly illuminated. This means the flag must have its own dedicated spotlight and then it can be flown twenty-hours per day if desired.

Now that you know the rules of flag etiquette go ahead and proudly display your American patri

Carrying the American Flag

The American Flag should never be carried flat. An exception to this rule is if it is draped over a casket a funeral. Unless the flag is folded, it is to be carried on a hand held staff to displayed flying freely. Do not allow the American flag to touch the ground or any other object below it.

Folding the American Flag

Since the American flag should not be carried flat, folding it may be necessary for transportation, storage or display. In addition to the flag being folded by civilians, it is a procedure performed by members of the Armed Forces. Members of the Armed Forces fold the American flag after it is lifted from the casket at a military funeral. It is then presented to the next of kin. There are not specifics as how to the flag should be folded, but a standard American flag will require thirteen folds. To be more specific there should be two lengthwise folds and eleven triangular folds.

Displaying American Flag with Other Flags

American flags must be placed in a position of prominence over all other flags since it represents the government and in America, the government is the highest authority. In most cases, the American flag is displayed above church flags. It should be larger or equivalent to the size of other flags on the pole or staff. The American Flag should be hoisted first and lowered last when flown with other flags.

Don’t forget the rules of flag etiquette and show the world you’re proud to be an American!


Who Designed the Fifty Star American Flag?

February 11, 2009

A seventeen-year-old high school student named Robert Heft designed the 50-star American flag. In 1958 Heft was a student at Lancaster High School creating a project for a history class. He set out to design a
50-star flag for his history class anticipating the addition of Alaska and Hawaii into the Union. He designed the flag utilizing his mother’s sewing machine and a hot iron to add a new blue canton and 100 hand-cut stars (50 on each side) to the field of an old 48-star flag. Heft toiled for twelve hours to complete his history project.

Fifty Star American Flag

Little did he know his teacher would offer him the ultimate challenge that would make history. The next day Heft submitted his flag for history class and his teacher, Stanly Pratt asked where he got his crystal ball. Pratt was referencing the use of fifty stars instead of forty-eight. Of course, Heft explained he believed Hawaii and Alaska would be added to the Union. In response, Pratt made Heft an offer if Congress accepted the flag then his grade would be raised.

Because Heft accepted the challenge, he made history alongside President Eisenhower on July 4, 1960 when his flag became the first 50-star flag raised in Washington. For more information, check out the article, “The 50-Star American Flag.”


Did Betsy Ross Design the First American Flag?

February 11, 2009

Betsy Ross Flag

Betsy Ross Flag

Most historians question the possibility of Betsy Ross being the designer of the first American flag. The story is a historical myth made public after the close of the Civil War. Betsy Ross’ story did not surface until thirty-four years after her death when her son, William J. Canby presented a paper he wrote to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He claims stories were verbally passed down throughout the years by Betsy and other family members about her designing the first American flag.

There are several reasons historians question Betsy Ross’ involvement with the first American flag. No records indicate that Continental Congress had a committee to design the national flag in the spring of 1776. Even though Betsy Ross kept detailed store records, no invoice or document has been found linking to this transaction. The first meeting, discussion or debate by Congress to discuss a national flag did not occur until Flag Day on June 14, 1777.

Many historians speculate there were at least seventeen flag makers and upholsters working in Philadelphia during the time the flag was created. Some historians theorize Margaret Manny may have designed the first Continental Colors Flag, but lack evidence to link her with the first national flag. Other flag makers working in Philadelphia during that time include Rebecca Young, Anne King, Cornelia Bridges, and William Barrett. Any flag maker in Philadelphia could have designed the first American flag.

While everyone enjoys the story of Betsy Ross been the designer of the first American flag, historians are still searching. Do you want to learn more about Betsy Ross and the first American flag? Visit the United States Flag Store and read about it. Please, share your opinions on this controversial subject.


Origins of USMC Flag

February 10, 2009

United States Marine Corps Flag

Did you know the USMC flag changed several times since the 1800s? As is with many national flags from all over the world, the Marine Corps changed theirs too. The United States Marine Corp changed their flag five times since 1776 before it became the version seen today.

The first version of the Corp flag was an unofficial one known as the Grand Union Flag. A theory is that this flag had a composition consisting of continental colors. Continental colors are a design of thirteen alternating red and white stripes with a British Union Jack in the canton. Although, the flag was not officially recognized, it is considered the first American flag inspiring the design of the thirteen star Betsy Ross flag.

Several years later during the 1830s and 1840s, the United States Marine Corps flag carried a white flag with gold fringe. Its designed displayed an eagle and anchor bearing the phrase, “To the shores of Tripoli.” After the Mexican-American War, the phrase became, “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.”

Show your United States Marine Corp pride.  Hoo ra!