State Post – West Virginia

August 15, 2016

West Virginia became the 35th state in the Union after President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation on April 20, 1863, although the proclamation would not become effective for another sixty days. This was after the people of Virginia seceded from the Union in 1840. The ones who opposed formed their own government and this formed the state of West Virginia. This is the only state to be proclaimed with a Presidential Proclamation.

West Virginia’s state flag is wswv35n-indoor_-00_west-virginia-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringehite with a navy blue border surrounding it. In the center is the coat of arms of West Virginia, while a wreath of rhododendron (the state flower) is on the lower half of the coat of arms. Above it is a red ribbon, reading the words “State of West Virginia”. Inside the coat of arms stands two men and in between them is a rock which has the date of West Virginia’s admission (June 20, 1863) inscribed and the state’s motto, Montani Semper Liberi, meaning “Mountaineers are always free”.

West Virginia adopted its state flag on March 7, 1929 by Senate Joint Resolution Number 18, which was approved by the Legislature. The proportions of the West Virginia state flag are the same as the United States national flag.

While coal was West Virginia’s biggest industry for years, tourism is now their biggest industry, placing coal in second. People visit popular attractions like the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Seneca Caverns, and New River (which is ironically one of the oldest rivers in the world).

-CD

 


Greece & Brazil

August 1, 2016

With the Olympics coming up, there are two very important flags you will see for two weeks: The flags from Greece and Brazil. This is because Greece is where the Olympic movement was born wgr46hf_-00_greece-flag-4-x-6-inchand Brazil is where the 2016 edition of the Olympics are held.

The current version of the Greek flag has nine horizontal stripes, blue and white. On the left hand corner is a blue square and a white cross. This flag was adopted on December 22, 1978. Earlier versions were adopted by the First National Assembly of Epidaurus on January 13, 1822. The nine stripes are believed to represent the symbols in the Greek battle cry, “Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος” (Eleutheria H Thanatos), which translates to “Freedom or Death”, which was said during the Hellenic Revolution against the Ottoman Empire. This flag is referred to as the “Κυανόλευκη” (Kyanólefki) or “blue-white” in Greece. The white symbolizes clouds in the sky, waves in the sea, and perpetual progress.

Trivia: Greek Flag Day is October 27.

The most recent Olympics held in Greece was in 2004 in Athens, the same city where the very first Olympics were held in 1896.

 


Brazil adopted its flag on November 19, 1889 but was updated on May 11, 1992. Brazil’s flag is green with a yellow rhombus with a dark blue circle in the middle with 27 stars (originally 21 stars) wbr46hf_-00_brazil-flag-4-x-6-inch-stick-flagand a white band, reading “Ordem e Progresso”, meaning Order and Progress, the national motto in green letters. The stars in the blue circle symbolize a starry sky but the stars also represent the country’s federated units, every star a single state, including the federal state.

The Brazilian flag was designed by Raimundo Texeira Mendes along with Miguel Lemos, Manuel Pereira Reis, and Décio Villares at the request of the then provisional president, Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca. This was after Brazil had become a republic after being a constitutional monarchy.

Fact: The 2016 Olympics is the first to be held in South America.

Soccer: Brazil has won the most World Cups in soccer, with five wins. Brazil has many superstars including Pelé, who helped in the bid to win Brazil the right to host the Olympics.ac

 

-CD


State Post – Kansas

July 1, 2016

Kansas joined the Union as the 34th state on January 29, 1861. The Civil War had started the year the state entered the Union and while they were a new state, they were the state who had suffered the most casualties from the war compared to any other state.

sks35n-indoor_-00_front_kansas-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringeKansas’ state flag was adopted on May 21, 1927. It had been flown at Fort Riley for the first time to honor the troops and the Kansas National Guard. The flag is a navy blue and has the state seal emblazoned in the middle. This seal depicts the rising sun in the East while life, of covered wagons, livestock, and farming, go on in the left hand corner and below. In the sky are 34 stars, each symbolizing a state at the time the seal was created during Kansas’ entry into the Union. Above the stars is a gold ribbon, reading Ad Astra Per Aspera, the state’s motto, meaning “to the stars through difficulties”. Underneath the state seal is the word “Kansas” in yellow and atop the seal is a sunflower sitting on a twisted blue and gold bar. This bar is said to symbolize the Louisiana Purchase in which the land Kansas was in was also acquired from. The sunflower is also Kansas’ state flower.14956238168_fba2131c7a_b

Sunflower State/Wild Sunflower: As one can see on the state flag, the state’s official flower is the sunflower. They were growing before the land even became a state, and explorers marveled at the beauty of the golden petals. Early on, their stalks were burned for fuel and the seeds had been fed to birds. It was sadly thought of as a “noxious weed” by people who disliked the flower but was still loved by many residents of Kansas. The flower grows native to the state’s soil and many life forms, like bees and butterflies, thrive on sunflowers. Their seeds also make a very tasty snack!

Along with Sunflowers, wheat is a very big commodity in the state. Large amounts of wheat grow (enough to provide everyone in the world with at least six loaves of bread!) but the wheat harvest is very short! From early June to the first part of July, according to the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Kansas is also known for the well-known film Wizard of Oz (1939) in which the first part of the film takes place in Kansas. In Liberal, Kansas, there is a replica of Dorothy’s house known as Dorothy’s House and Land of Oz!

-CD


State Post – Oregon

May 25, 2016

Oregon is well known for the Oregon Trail which occurred in the 1840s and was about 2,200 miles long. It was a journey from Missouri to Oregon and other points west such as California (due to the gold rush going on at the time), and the settlers took the journey due to tough economic times. They traveled by covered wagon (first use of them was in 1836). The journey was successful, and more people came to Oregon in hopes of better land and promising futures. By 1846, the British handed power of Oregon over to the United States. Oregon obtained statehood on February 14, 1859.

sor35n-indoor_-00_front_oregon-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringeOregon’s state flag was adopted in 1925 and is the only state flag with different images on reverse sides of the flag. The flag is navy blue along with a gold shield on one side and a gold beaver sitting on a log on the other. On the side with the shield reads “State of Oregon” in large letters above the shield with 33 stars surrounding the shield. Inside the shield is a sunset over an ocean (Pacific), forests, mountains, and a covered wagon. On the sea are two ships, a British Man-of-War and an American trade ship. The British ship is departing and the American ship is arriving, symbolizing the claim of land by the UK and the USA at the same time and also America’s rising power in the West. Sitting atop of the shield is a bald eagle and underneath are the numbers “1859”, the year Oregon was admitted to the union as the 33rd state.

State Nickname: Because of the beaver on the opposite side of the flag, Oregon’s nickname is, of course, the Beaver State. Fur traders were just some of the key people in the Oregon trail and fur from beavers was a good source of fur for them. The beaver eventually became the state’s unofficial animal and is a mascot of Oregon State University.

Just Like Oregon: Paraguay’s national flag also has different images on reverse sides.

-CD


2016 Invictus Games

May 9, 2016
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(c) Getty Images

It’s time for the Invictus Games! Brits are gearing up to cheer for their fellow countrymen in a Paralympic-like competition against a select few countries. If you have never heard of them, don’t worry because it’s still something relatively new. It was just started in 2014 but Prince Harry originally came up with the idea in 2013 when he was out on a trip to the US to attend the Warrior Games. He saw how sport was therapeutic for many servicemen, and helped them open up to people again after seeing the horrors of war.

Prince Harry came up with the idea of the Invictus Games. The games would be for active duty and veteran Service men and women who were injured, ill, or wounded. Now, why was the word “invictus” chosen for the name of the games? It is because it means “unconquered”, and it represents the spirit of the service men and women. They are moving on through sport despite injury and illness. These games show how courageous and inspiring these men and women are.

The first Invictus Games were held in London, England, UK. The second edition (2016) of the Invictus Games will be held in Orlando, Florida in the United States and then in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2017, and then other international cities after 2017. Much like the Olympics, the games are held in different cities across different countries. There is an Opening and Closing Ceremony and the games take place in the course of just a few days.

In the past two years since the games were created, the Invictus Games have been given more attention, especially in the media and online. Prince Harry made a video with President Barack Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, poking fun at each other just before the games were to begin. Prince Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, was also featured in the video.

It is incredible to see the success of these games. Prince Harry is receiving lots of praise for his wonderful idea, especially since his mother, Princess Diana, had taught him to be kind and help others. He has the support of several current and former world leaders along with many in the military. Although only a handful of service people will compete, the support and encouragement  is far greater.

-CD


State Post – Minnesota

May 2, 2016

Minnesota became the 32nd US State on May 11, 1858. Before then, the Eastern part of the state was owned by Great Britain and the West was owned by France. The United States gained the East from Britain after the Revolutionary War and the West was also included in the Louisiana Purchase from France.

Minnesota’s official state flag was adopted in 1893 but was not made the official state flag until 1957. Minnesota’s flag is royal blue with a gold fringe. Placed on the center of the flag is the state’s smn35n-indoor_-00_front_minnesota-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringeseal and encircled around it is a wreath featuring the state’s flower, the pink and white lady slippers along with a red ribbon. On that red ribbon are printed the years 1819 (the establishment of Fort Snelling, a significant historical landmark run by the Minnesota Historical Society), and 1893, the year in which the state’s flag had been unofficially adopted. In a separate gold ribbon inside the state’s seal reads the state’s motto, L’etoile du Nord, meaning Star of the North in French. There are five pointed star groups made up outside the circle to make a star, totalling to 19. While Minnesota is the 32nd state, they are the 19th post thirteen-territories state. Finally, the word Minnesota is written in red letters in the lower white circle.

St. Paul, Minnesota is the state capital and Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the state’s most populated city. However, due to the fact that they are just about next to each other, this area is otherwise known as the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities area is home to about sixty percent of Minnesotans.

Where did the name Minnesota come from? Minnesota’s name is derived from a Native American word meaning “clouded water” or “sky-tinted water”.

Home of 10,000 lakes: The state is known for having a vast amount of lakes and proudly has it written on their license plates. However, there are actually over 11,000 lakes! These lakes are enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Many go camping, swimming,  fishing, and go on boat rides.

-CD


State Post – Wisconsin

March 23, 2016

swi35n-indoor_-00_front_wisconsin-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1Wisconsin, the 30th state in the Union, was founded by Frenchman Jean Nicolet in 1634. Great Britain later obtained the territory from the French in the French and Indian Wars in 1763. They owned the land for twenty years until the United States gained ownership of it after the Revolutionary War but Britain regained the territory in the War of 1812. Wisconsin later gained its statehood on May 29, 1848.

Wisconsin’s state flag was adopted in 1913 but this flag had been flown even earlier. Civil war regiments were asking for an official banner to fly. On March 25, 1863, a flag was adopted for Wisconsin which was blue and bore the state’s coat of arms and this flag was eventually re-adopted in 1913. The state flew its flag with just its coat of arms until 1980, when many Wisconsin residents were unhappy with how they were unable to tell their state flag apart from other state flags (which were also had coats of arms). After that, the word “Wisconsin” in white letters were placed above the coat of arms and “1848” was added below the coat of arms.

Dairy and Cheese: Wisconsin is well known for its dairy, many coming for their amazing milk, cheese, and other dairy products. There are over 600 cheese varieties alone in the state of Wisconsin, and has a high amount of cheese consumption in the state.

Here’s some cheese trivia:

Limburger*: The cheese known for its pungent aroma that originated in Europe is produced only in Monroe, Wisconsin for the United States.

Colby Cheese: Like colby cheese? It was invented in Colby, Wisconsin!

Brick Cheese: Invented in Dodge County in 1877. It got its name due to the fact that cheesemakers used to use bricks to press moisture from the cheese.

In addition, 99 percent of farms in the state of Wisconsin are family owned.

-CD

 

 

(Source: http://www.dairydoingmore.org/economicimpact/dairyfacts)


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