Flag of Thailand

by Sherri Smith

The first Thailand flag was created during the reign of King Rama II. This flag was chosen with the lucky symbol of a white elephant. The present Thailand flag, the Trai Rong or three colors was designed by King Rama VI. It was first used around 1920. The flag has five horizontal stripes in the colors red, white, blue, white and red, with the middle stripe being twice as wide as the other four. Red stands for nation, white represents religion, and the blue signifies the king. Nation-religion-king is an unofficial motto of Thailand.

Thailand Flag

The current flag was adopted on September 28, 1917 according to a royal decree in that year; however, didn’t become widely used until around the 1920s.

The Naval Ensign is similar to the National Flag except that is has a red circle in the middle of the flag and the circle reaches as far as the red stripes on the flag; both top and bottom. Within the circle stands a white elephant, in full regalia, facing the flagpole. This ensign was adopted in 1917 as well.

When the flag of Thailand is flown, it is often flanked by the two Royal flags of the King and Queen on each side. The Royal flags are flown slightly below the flag of Thailand. Thailand’s flag most closely resembles the flag of Costa Rica, which was adopted 11 years prior to Thailand’s. The difference is that the blue and red colors have been inverted.

Flag of Switzerland

by Sherri Smith

The flag of Switzerland is a red square with a white cross in the center of the flag. It was adopted from the flag of the Swiss canton of Schwyz (one of the first three Swiss cantons.) The flag was officially adopted as the flag of Switzerland on December 12, 1889; however, the design dates back to about 1480, which is long before Switzerland was even formed.

Flag of Switzerland

The flag of Switzerland stands for freedom, honor, and fidelity. An interesting thing to note is that the Swiss National Flag and the flag of the Vatican are the only square national flags. Additionally, for centuries, the Swiss people identified themselves with their cantons (regions). During the industrial age of the 19th and 20th centuries, there was huge migration inside Switzerland and many Swiss citizens could no longer identify with a specific canton, thus the national flag became more visible.

Another interesting fact is that when the International Committee of the Red Cross was founded to be a neutral institution to take care of the military or civil persons injured in war on the initiative of Henri Dunant and a Swiss general Dufour in 1864. Dufour proposed the reversal of the flag as an emblem. So the Red Cross flag is an inverted version of the flag of Switzerland.

The official use of the flag is to be displayed on federal, cantonal, and municipal buildings; however, there is no uniform pattern or regulation to its use. In private use, the flag is often shown as a display of patriotism and flown together with the cantonal and municipal flags.

Displaying the American Flag

by Kathy McCarthy

Whenever anyone displays an American Flag there is a certain protocol that should be respected. Follow these 8 helpful tips to make sure that your American Flag is properly displayed.

  1. The flag should only be flown when the weather is clear, unless the flag and its hardware are designed to withstand the elements.
  2. The flag should never be altered in any way. Never affix any letter, number or symbol to an American Flag.
  3. The flag should never be used as a wrapping or covering.
  4. The flag should not be used for any decoration in general, nor should it be used for any advertising purpose. It should also never be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform except when worn as a flag patch such as those found on uniforms of service personnel and members of patriotic organizations.
  5. Eagle and American Flag

  6. The flag should be always be lighted. It can be displayed in sunlight, but if it is to be displayed at night it must be lit with an appropriate flagpole light.
  7. The flag should never be displayed, lowered or dipped except when mourning a death or being used as a distress signal.
  8. The flag should never touch the ground. When lowering the flag it should be received by an attendant, properly folded and stored.
  9. The flag should be kept in good repair, and when a flag is so worn that it cannot be repaired, it should be destroyed with dignity by burning it.

By following these 8 suggestions, you can proudly fly your American Flag and honor those who bravely fought for the freedom that you enjoy today!

My Country, My Flag

by Kathy McCarthy

Whether you own a house or live in an apartment, you can always be proud of being an American by flying the American Flag. Whether you buy just the flag or a kit with all of the hardware and a pole, it’s pretty easy to fly your own flag. I know, because I just hung my first flag yesterday.

American Flag

I just moved into my first house. It’s a townhouse actually, but it’s all me. Last year I lived with a roommate, so I’m not really counting that place as my own. I grew up with my family  in a small community just outside of Sacramento, California. Though we lived in a neighborhood, our property was several acres. So every morning my Dad would carry the American Flag out to the front gate and place it on its hanger, and every evening my Mom would bring it in.

I never thought much of this little ritual until I moved out of my family’s house and no longer had a flag. I never realized that every day as I drove in an out of our driveway the flag reminded me of who I am and why I’m grateful to be an American.

I know that I have not sampled a lot of things that life has to offer just yet, but I do know enough to be grateful for all of the freedoms that I enjoy in my country. For example, I have not had to go to war, but many have, and I know that it’s to protect my rights, and me. When I see the flag it reminds me, and I am grateful.

Now I have hung my own flag in front of my house for all to see. I carry it out to hang it up in the morning, and I bring it in at nightfall. As I come and go throughout the day, I see it, and it reminds me that I am proud and grateful to be an American.

Iowa State Flag

On first glance, the Iowa State Flag looks strikingly similar to the design of the French Flag. The background of the Iowa State Flag consists of three stripes of blue, white and red – exactly the same as the design of the Flag of France. However, there is one defining feature that makes the Iowa Flag different from all others – the image of an eagle placed directly in the center.

Iowa State Flag

The design of the Iowa Flag was actually intended to appear very similar to the French Flag. The blue, white and red stripes on the flag are representative of the fact that Iowa was originally part of the French Louisiana Territory.

Unlike the French Flag, the white stripe in the center of the Iowa flag is actually much wider than the other two stripes. Directly in the center sits the image of a bald eagle, one of the symbols of the United States of America. The eagle is holding a banner in its mouth, containing the words “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”, which is taken directly from the Great Seal of the State of Iowa. The word IOWA is printed in red, directly below the image of the eagle on the flag.

The Flag of Iowa was originally approved in May 1917; however, it was not officially adopted as the state banner until a few years later in 1921. It was first approved by the Iowa State Council for Defense. Just as with many other state flags, the Iowa Flag owes its roots to the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Iowa State Flag was originally designed and created by a Knoxville resident named Mrs. Dixie Cornell Gebhardt, a member of the organization. The Iowa State Flag truly does show deep rooted ties to not only America, but to its original governing country, France, as well.