Grenada National Flag

December 30, 2009

Ostensibly simple, the Grenadian National Flag carries rich historical and cultural significance within its fairly plain design. It was officially recognized in 1974 following its conception at the hands of Anthony C. George. The flag commemorates Grenada’s independence from the United Kingdom, which began in February of that year. Its color scheme and design depict the pride in that independence, and represent much that defines Grenada as a nation.

The color scheme of red, gold and green is representative of the country’s African origins. Each color stands as a symbol of something valued in Grenadian society.

Green, for instance, signifies the Grenadian land’s fertility, which brings about its vast agriculture industry and abundant plant life. Agriculture serves as Grenada’s economic driving force.

Red is indicative of the bravery, vivacity and a desire for independence that is found in the heart of each Grenadian citizen. The history of the Grenadian people is one filled with struggle, civil discord and adversity, all of which they were able to persevere, refusing to give up the hope of a unified independent nation.

Gold is the color of wisdom. It also embodies the warmth and kindness of the Grenadian people. Additionally, the gold serves to symbolize the bright sunshine of the Grenadian islands, which adds to its beauty and fertility.

The flag’s symbols hold a great deal of significance, as well. Three yellow stars align along the upper portion of the flag, while three more are found across the bottom. Collectively, they represent the nation’s six parishes; Saint Mark, Saint John, Saint George, Saint Patrick, Saint Andrew, and Saint David. They also represent the ideas and ambitions upon which the nation was founded.

Another single yellow star lies at the center of the flag, surrounded by a red circle. This star signifies the nation’s capital city of Saint George’s. This beautiful city lies on the southwestern portion of the country and sits upon a horseshoe-shaped Caribbean harbor next to a volcano crater. Despite becoming a developing tourism destination in recent years, the city still holds on to much of Grenada’s rich cultural history.

The hoist of the flag displays a clove shaped emblem. This represents a clove of nutmeg, one of the nation’s primary crops. Grenada produces the second largest amount of nutmeg in the world, and is often referred to as the “Isle of Spice.” Grenadians are proud of their reputation for agricultural distinction, and their flag displays this pride.

The Grenadian National Flag is a symbol of the strength and vitality of a people unified under the idea of independence. It flies as a tribute to a rich cultural history and a promising future of continued independence, growth and development.


Winter Decorative Flags show Holiday Spirit

December 11, 2009

By Kristi Ries

It’s that time of year again: evergreen wreaths hang on doorways, homemade cookies are baking and fireplaces are aglow all across America. There’s a chill with a scent of chimney smoke in the air, and freshly cut evergreens can be found atop minivans everywhere.

In the throes of winter, the darkest and bleakest months of the year, countless Americans venture out to adorn their lawns and houses in a festive display for the season. Neighbors crane their necks to see intricate light patterns and tall nutcracker cut-outs; elaborate decorations offer an excellent excuse for long holiday joyrides after dark to see lights, reindeer, sleighs and bright candles on a winter’s eve.

Such decorations have become a personal expression of pride in one’s home and in celebration of various religious holidays. Colorful lights and nativity displays, menorahs in windows and garland on doorways are just another way to welcome friends and loved ones to your home during this especially chilly time of year.

As people struggle to untangle last year’s Christmas lights, they might also consider another type of decoration this winter: holiday flags. You can hang a 3D Santa banner flag to honor the wonder of Old Saint Nick; a red poinsettia flower and the words “Seasons Greetings” invite all to share in the joys of the season. You can herald in the Christmas holiday with a trumpeting angel, or display banners of a Christmas tree, a jolly snowman or the Three Wise Men. Hannukah begins this Friday, December 11 at sundown, and several elegant Hannukah flags showcase a Dreidel, the Star of David and a menorah to celebrate the eight-day Festival of Light.

Easy to hang and available in a range of designs, these jubilant flags make a great statement outside your home. They’re also a great gift for your friends and family.

Once these joyous occasions have come to a close, there are still more colorful ways to brighten up the season. Snowflake flags are great all-purpose winter greetings for your snow-covered yard, and New Year’s flags are the perfect way to show you’re ready to ring in 2010! Consider adding one to the beauty and warmth of your home today.


Storm Flags Serve as Warning Signs

December 10, 2009

By Kristi Ries

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean officially begins on June 1 of each year, and lasts for nearly six tumultuous months before it comes to a close. On average, over 100 tropical storms form over the Atlantic.

Due to this high rate of activity, mariners have historically depended on warning flags displayed at their harbors and Coast Guard Stations to warn of approaching ocean storm systems.

In 2007, the U.S. Coast Guard re-established a Coastal Warning Display (Storm Flag) program at selected Coast Guard boat stations throughout the U.S to warn the public of approaching storm conditions. Coast Guard stations had participated in the National Weather Service’s official Coastal Warning Display program for over 100 years, along with yacht clubs and marinas, until it was discontinued in 1989. Today, experienced boaters can easily identify the meaning of such nautical flags, whose geometric shapes and colors represent the severity of impending weather conditions.

The flags serve to warn mariners of small craft advisories, gale warnings, storm warnings and hurricane warnings. And these flags are being used more often than ever. Scientists claim that rising air and water temperatures worldwide are creating more frequent and severe hurricanes.

A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that have reached a constant speed of at least 74 miles per hour. The eye of such a storm is vast, usually measuring 20-30 miles wide, and can envelope more than 400 miles. Dangers of a hurricane include torrential rains, high winds and storm surges that leave major destruction in their wake. At sea, hurricanes can last for 2 weeks or more and can run a path across the entire length of the United States’ Eastern Seaboard before dissipating.

In addition to hurricane flags, there are also international maritime signal flags—one for each letter of the alphabet—that mariners can use to spell out messages or can be combined to form a code word. Boating enthusiasts and Atlantic coastline dwellers can breathe a sigh of relief this year, as the 2009 hurricane season ended uneventfully on November 30 with just three storms reaching destructive hurricane status instead of the average six.


Tailgating

December 3, 2009

By Kristi Ries

Tailgating has become a time-honored tradition in the United States. For decades, sports and music fans across the country have gathered around their trucks, minivans, SUVs and RVs in parking lots outside of stadiums and concert venues. College football fans have created cities out of both empty pastures and asphalt, with makeshift barbeques and pick-up Frisbee games the order of the day.

The term ‘tailgating’ arose from the term for a truck bed’s door, or tailgate, which served as a meeting point and surface area for food and beverages. Nowadays these ‘gatherings’ can include hundreds of thousands of people, producing a veritable sea of vehicles that has become increasingly difficult to navigate. (Try to meet up with friends at a Penn State game in Happy Valley and you’ll be grateful for the 20th century invention of the cell phone.) Yet even the most clearly articulated directions yield confusion, as “third RV on the left, 12 aisles down” can become convoluted. Because of this, avid fans have discovered a new way to differentiate themselves from the masses through the use of tailgating flags.

Brightly colored and typically adorned with a team logo, tailgating flags appear in a number of places. They can be placed on car windows, hung as banners from RV awnings—or, for the extremely ardent fan—flown on tailgating flagpole sets. Not only do these serve as a high-flying beacon for family and friends, but they’re also as a symbol of personal pride and commitment to a team. Telescoping pole sets tower over surrounding trucks and SUVs at 16 feet high. Using these poles, dedicated fans can fly two flags at once to showcase a university and professional team, state flag or armed forces flag, for example.

All things considered, no better way exists to show that you’re the biggest fan than to display it proudly with a several tailgating flags!