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.


Getting Your Flagpole Ready for the Season

March 27, 2018

Super Tough Heavy Duty 20ft Residential flagpole with US made nylon flag

Your flagpole is an investment, and with proper care and maintenance, it can stay looking great for years to come. A rule of thumb is to inspect your flagpole and its parts whenever you replace your flag. Flagpoles can be subjected to extreme weather that include high winds, extreme humidity or extreme cold. Now that spring is here, it’s a great time to do a little spring cleaning on your flagpole and accessories.

Most aluminum flagpoles can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water. By simply attaching a soapy sponge to the halyard, you can clean the pole by raising and lowering the halyard with the sponge attached. If cleaning the flagpole requires more than soap and water, purchasing aluminum cleaner from your local auto parts store will do the trick.

Fiberglass flagpoles can be cleaned with a mild bathroom cleaner and water. Flagpoles with anodized finishes, such as clear, bronze or black, do not require cleaning. The anodized color serves as a protective coating, and cleaning the surface can actually damage them and void the warranty.

Weather can also affect the flagpole’s halyard . The cold weather can cause a halyard to degrade and dry-rot, while salt air can cause the halyard’s fibers to appear “rotted out”. Wind, rain, and humidity can stress the halyard and cause it to fray as well.  Replacing the halyard doesn’t have to require a bucket truck, though. A great tip is to just tape the end of the new halyard to the old one and pull it up the flagpole and through the truck’s pulley. A little tape around a frayed halyard end will help it pass through the truck’s pulley smoothly. Be sure not to overlap the two ends or use an excessive, bulky amount of tape. You want the rope to glide through the pulley easily.

You’ll also want to replace snaphooks and snaphook covers when you’re replacing the halyard.

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.


Fun with State Flags

March 9, 2018

Each state is defined by many things including their name, their borders, and especially their flag. While many states went with their state seal on a blue background design (18* to be exact), some states went in other directions.

The background color for the Delaware and New Jersey state flags were both influenced by George Washington’s uniforms.

The Daughters of the American Revolution state chapters held contests to select new flags in the following states: Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

Here are other interesting facts about some of our state flags:

The Texas state flag is the oldest state flag to keep its original design (1839).

The Hawaii state flag is the only state flag to incorporate Great Britain’s Union Jack.

The Iowa state flag resembles the French flag by design. It is meant to reflect the state’s history as part of the Louisiana Territory. However, the prominent display of a bald eagle signifies that the state is American through and through.

The Arizona state flag design was voted as the official flag in 1917 even though the governor, Thomas Edward Campbell, refused to endorse it.

The Maryland’s State Flag combines two coats of arms: the gold and black George Calvert, Lord Baltimore and the red and white colored arms of the Crossland family. During the Civil War, Confederate sympathizers adopted the Crossland arms while Union loyalists waved the Calvert arms. In the aftermath of the war, the two were combined and was officially adopted as the state flag in 1904.

The New Mexico state flag was voted best in the nation by the North American Vexillological Association in 2001.

The Ohio state flag is the only non-rectangular state flag in the country.

* Utah’s state flag was originally a white image of the state seal on a blue field. However, when the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers ordered a custom copy of the flag for the battleship USS Utah, the flag arrived with the seal having been rendered in color with a gold circle around it. Rather than re-order the flag, the state legislature adopted the new design.

Check out our page on State Flags.  We have a wide assortment of size and fabric choices for each state. 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.


Fun Facts About the American Flag

February 27, 2018

American Flag

  • The Flag Act of 1777 created the official flag for the new nation of United States of America. It stated, in part, that America’s flag “…be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
  • The design of the American flag, that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that later became the Star-Spangled Banner, was of 15 stars and 15 stripes (to reflect the 1794 admissions of Kentucky and Vermont to the Union).
  • The colors of the flag have important meanings. Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
  • There have been 27 official versions of the American Flag, the latest version is the longest to date.
  • The flag was first called “Old Glory” by a young sea captain named William Driver in 1824.
  • According to the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry and the Flag Code, old versions of the flag never become obsolete. As long as a flag is still in good condition, it can be flown regardless of the number or arrangement of its stars.
  • There are 6 American Flags on the moon, although only 5 are still standing. The one that’s not? That would be the first one, planted by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission.
  • If you like to study flags, then you are a Vexillologist.

 


Valentine’s Day Flags

January 30, 2018

Give your flagpole and your garden some love this Valentine’s Day by adorning them with our Valentine’s Day Flags!

We carry flags for your standard flagpole and for your garden that will add color and love to your home. Our flags are made for outdoor use so they are fit to withstand most weather conditions.

There are several designs to choose from, ranging from candy to love.

Valentines Day Banner Flag - Valentines Candy

Valentines Day Banner Flag - L-O-V-E

Bring some smiles with bees with this Bee Mine Flag or spread Hugs and Kisses with this beautiful pink flag!

Valentines Day Garden Flag - Bee Mine

Valentines Day Garden Flag - Hugs & Kisses

Of course, if you do not have one, you can get a garden flagpole to start off with. It’s durable and easy to set up with just three pieces. These are made for 12 inch x 18 inch flags.

Super Tough Garden Flagpole

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

-CD