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.