July 25, 2016
Every four years since 1896, the Summer Olympics are held in a pre-selected host city for several weeks. This year (2016) the Olympics are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These games will be the first to be held in South America and the first to be held in the Southern Hemisphere in recent years since the Sydney games in 2000.
Every Olympic games holds an Opening Ceremony, featuring spectacular performances, music, culture, and more. In the midst of the Opening Ceremony is the Parade of Nations, which usually take place in a stadium, arena, or another type of venue in the host nation. The Parade of Nations is where the participating countries parade into the venue, carrying their flag, along with their national team. The teams usually range from one person to several hundred. Each team has a flagbearer, and the flagbearer is picked due to various reasons. Sometimes the flagbearer may be the sole team member, a medal hopeful, a medal winner from the previous games, or an official from the nation’s team. Larger nations like the United States elect their flagbearer
The Parade of Nations is led by Greece and ends with the host nation, which in this year’s case is Brazil. The parade will proceed according to the host nation’s alphabet. The names of the countries are written in the host nation’s language, so it will be listed in a different order. The reason Greece goes first in the parade is because they are the country who originally started the Olympics, so they always go first (with the exception of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, when they went last as they were the host).
It is tradition for the flagbearers to dip (or lower) their country’s flag as a sign of respect, except for the case of the United States. When the US marches in the Parade of Nations, it is tradition for the flagbearer not to dip the flag to the leader of the host nation. This was apparently have been the case since the 1908 Olympics when the flagbearer, Ralph Rose, who was an Irish-American, said “The flag dips to no earthly king”. It is unknown particularly WHY it was done but it was made permanent after the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
Fast Fact: There is also a Parade of Nations for the Winter Olympics, as well!
April 27, 2015
Jenny R. in Wisconsin included one of our flags in a raffled basket for her cause, Community Clothes Closet. United States Flag Store’s garden flag and holder were tucked in an adorable garden basket to be auctioned off at the fashion show on May 17th in Appleton Wisconsin. The Fox Cities Fashion Show is a community-wide event where volunteers model vintage clothing for a fun-filled afternoon. The Community Clothes Closet will use the proceeds from this fundraiser to keep its doors open to those in need. Jenny says, “Thank you for helping us continue our mission of providing free clothing to people in need while maintaining their dignity and offering opportunities to improve their lives.”
If you would like more information about the Community Clothes Closet or our fashion show please visit them here.
February 3, 2015
New Jersey places third into the union and as one of the original thirteen colonies. New Jersey is dubbed “The Garden State” and officially became a state on December 18, 1787.
The flag of New Jersey has a light yellow-brown background with part of the state seal in the center. The state seal features three plows inside a blue shield in between two women. The woman on the left is the Goddess of Liberty, who is holding a staff and the cap of freedom; on the opposite side is the Goddess of Agriculture, who holds the cornucopia full of food. Above the shield and the two woman is the head armor of a knight, a horse’s head, and blue filigrees. On the bottom is a ribbon which bears “”LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY” and “1776” (Random Fact: This state flag was adopted on March 26, 1896, a little less than 109 years after admission into the union).
New Jersey was given to James the Duke of York from his the brother, King Charles II of England. James later gave it to Sir George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley. James named New Jersey in honor of Carteret who was born in and was the former governor of Jersey, which is a British island in the English Channel.
The Battle of Trenton was a small but important battle in the American Revolution, taking place in Trenton, NJ. In 1776, the day after Christmas and General George Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware, he led his Continental Army against Hessian soldiers. Very soon all the Hessians were captured with very little damage to our Army. This battle’s significance was its much-needed boost to the Continental Army’s morale. Reenactors come to Trenton each year to relive this victory.
Today New Jersey boasts several bald eagle nests with action cams to protect this endangered species. Volunteers observe and collect helpful data, clocking in lots of hours noting courtship, mating, feeding, and other rituals.
Another fact: New Jersey is the 47th largest state in the United States with only 8,722 square miles.
Want more fun facts about New Jersey? Check out this website.
December 16, 2014
Historically, the story of Hanukkah begins around 165 B.C. After three years of struggle, the Jews in Judea defeated the Syrian tyrant Antiochus. The Jewish people held festivities in the Temple of Jerusalem, and rededicated the Temple. After removing all Syrian idols from the Temple, the Jews found only one small cruse of oil with which to light their holy lamps. Miraculously, the cruse provided oil for eight days. Judas Maccabaeus, the Jewish leader, thus proclaimed a festival in celebration, to be observed by Jews.
Hanukkah is the Jewish Feast of Lights or Feast of Dedication.The Hebrew word Hanukkah means dedication. Hanukkah is also written Hannuka or Chanukah. The holiday begins on the eve of the 25th day of the Hebrew Month of Kislev and lasts eight days. Hanukkah usually falls in the month of December, but occasionally can start in November.
During Hanukkah, gifts are exchanged and contributions are made to the poor. Each evening, one additional candle is lit on the Hanukkah menorah (candelabra). By the last evening, eight lighted candles stand together.
I am not Jewish, but I have many Jewish friends. I always enjoy the diversity that is our country. Tonight starts Hanukkah for the season at sundown.