Memorial Day

Memorial Flags

On Memorial Day we honor the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. This day is observed by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

By the time the American Civil War had ended in the spring of 1865, more lives had been claimed than in any other conflict is U.S. history. This required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

While it is unclear where this tradition had originated, what with numerous different communities independently initiating the memorial gatherings, Waterloo, New York was declared the official birthplace of Memorial Day by the federal government in 1966. Waterloo –  which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866 –  was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. General Logan chose May 30th and called it Decoration Day. The date was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular Civil War battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, where 5,000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and by 1890, each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually became to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. However during World War I, the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict. The holiday grew to commemorate all American military personnel who died in any war.

For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30th, the date General Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May, in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. This change, that went into effect in 1971, also declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday.

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.

Patriotic Decorations for Your Summer Events

Now that summer is finally around the corner, it is a great time to start thinking about all those BBQ’s, picnics, parades, and especially Memorial Day, Flag Day and Fourth of July events you’ll be attending. United States Flag Store has a great assortment of Patriotic Decorations for all your summertime gatherings.

For parades or tabletop centerpieces, our stick flags are second to none. Available with ball tips, spear tips or no tips, our flags are available in 4 inch x 6 inch , 8 inch x 12 inch and 12 inch x 18 inch sizes.

US Stick Flags

Our most popular patriotic decoration is, without a doubt, the pleated fans. Available in different sizes and fabrics, there are fans available from Valley Forge, Annin and our own Super Tough brand.

Pleated Fans

You can proudly display your patriotic banner flags all summer. These flags are durable and gorgeous to look at. United States flag store also carries wall mount flag poles for the banner flags.

Patriotic Banner Flag

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

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.

 

Valley Forge – The Greatest Name in Flags

American Flag 2ft x 3ft Cotton Best Brand by Valley Forge

Founded in 1882, Valley Forge Flag Company, Inc. remains to this day a family-run business. Beginning as a burlap-bag business that later sold World War I surplus, including U.S. flags, the company has evolved and grown through four generations.

It is Valley Forge Flag’s philosophy and practice that U.S. flags are made entirely of domestic materials and that each process in manufacturing the flag is accomplished in U.S. facilities with U.S. labor.

Valley Forge is proud to join other American manufacturers as a founding member of the Flag Manufacturers’ Association of America (FMAA). This association is committed to educating consumers, the press, and flag retailers about the United States manufactured flag industry and its significance to community, economic and social development. Educating the country and helping to enforce the legal requirements for the clear labeling of imported products is an important role that Valley Forge Flag takes very seriously.

To that end, member manufacturers have established the FMAA Certification. This seal is the public’s assurance that the flag being purchased and displayed is 100% Made in the U.S.A. from weaving the material to finishing the flag.

Valley Forge Flag Company continues to grow and flourish, employing well over 300 people. Headquartered in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Valley Forge Flag manufactures and distributes its products from state of the art facilities throughout South Carolina. Valley Forge Flag Company continues its commitment to provide high-quality flags exemplifying our country’s national honor and spirit, raising its colors to express respect and pride for our American way of life.

Check out our line of a Valley Forge Flags . 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.

Parade of Nations

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.

flgtbnr1000029438_-00_team-usa-premium-felt-banner-flagEvery 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 brazil-superknitmember, 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!

-CD

Independence Day Trivia!

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Independence Day, or more commonly known as the Fourth of July is one of the biggest events and celebrations in America’s history. Still, we must not forget why we celebrate this important day and everything the led to it, plus more facts about it. Today, I am presenting you with some trivia about the Fourth of July that may surprise you:

  • The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia.
  • While many get the Fourth off today, it was not officially declared by Congress a paid Federal holiday until 1938. It was originally unpaid since 1870.
  • Nathan’s Hot Dogs holds their Hot Dog Eating Contest annually. This is to see who can eat the most hot dogs in the fastest time. The event is held on New York’s Coney Island and is broadcast on national television on cable.
  • Three presidents died on the 4th of July: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams within hours of each other on 1826, and James Monroe in 1831. The only president to the be born on the 4th of July was Calvin Coolidge in 1872.
  • The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies. The bell has not been rung since 1846.download
  • John Hancock was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence and the only signer ON the Fourth of July. It actually took a month for all 56 signatures to get on the Declaration of Independence and John Adams thought the Second of July would become Independence Day.
  • While we light fireworks on the Fourth some 240 years after we became a country, in the first year afterward, many Americans placed a candle on their windowsills to show their patriotism for their new country. Those still loyal to the British crown left their windowsills bare.
  • While we hold barbecues today that feature burgers and hot dogs, our founding fathers ate foods like turtle soup, poached salmon in egg sauce, peas, boiled potatoes in their skins, and apple pandowdy for dessert!

Hope you enjoyed all the trivia! Happy 4th, America!

-CD

 

President’s Day

IMG_0434_2President’s Day celebrates the presidents of the United States of America. This holiday is observed on the third Monday in February despite Abraham Lincoln’s birthday being on February 12th while George Washington’s is just ten days later, on February 22nd. Fun Fact: Not just Washington and Lincoln were born in February. William Henry Harrison and Ronald Reagan are also two other presidential February birthdays.

When George Washington was alive in the 1700s, his birthday was celebrated by much of the US, therefore observing it as a holiday. President’s Day was established in 1885 for George Washington since as he was the first President. In 1968 the first attempt to make this a national holiday failed but the second attempt (1971) was successful. Thanks to this, federal offices, schools, and even the post office will be closed to observe Washington’s Birthday, called the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to give workers a three-day weekend.

However, it’s not just Washington who gets all the attention. Some states celebrate Washington, others celebrate Washington and another person, while others celebrate both Washington and Lincoln, like my home state of California. usa46n_os_-00_main_4ft-x-6ft-nylon-us-flag-online-stores-brand_1

For President’s Day, you can raise Old Glory in honor of the presidents. It is a great way to show your patriotism and respect for these pioneers in American history. Of course, you can always raise the flag for any president, veteran, or service member you would like to celebrate.

Did you know? In the 1980s, retail stores began to use President’s Day as a marketing opportunity. Since people start to get income tax checks this time of year and many businesses are closed for the holiday, it gave consumers the benefit of time and availability to hit the sales, and the retailers a boost to their after-Christmas slumps.

~CD

Spirit of America

Heroes!? Are they real outside the comics? Absolutely! In our frenzied world we are growing a whole generation and more who have a very minimal understanding of who a real hero is. More and more as the Greatest Generation fades away there is a compelling need to define HERO! Dale Hemphill has done a wonderful job with his Spirit of America flag. He has produced a symbol that defines both hero and gratitude. It intends to plant a picture and vision of who a real hero is on the hearts and minds of the American public and beyond!

A US Navy veteran himself, Dale Hemphill designed Spirit of America as the emblem for his Spirit of America Foundation/Forgotten Heroes USA. The Spirit of America Flag is the only flag of its kind. It honors the veterans and heroes of wars past and our current soldiers who are fighting for our freedom. This flag also pays tribute to the many heroes and civilians who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. Made in the U.S.A. Made out of nylon known for its weather resistance. Measures: 3′ x 5′.

According to Mr. Hemphill, “the nice thing about this flag is that it covers everything – 911, men and women, the cold war, you name it.” It has a rich history itself. “20141106_111017I started designing this in 1979 with the hostages in Iraq situation, when they were in captivity for 444 days. I’ve had my design stolen and even had the copyright cut out of the flag.”

The “Spirit of America” insignia was designed to recognize our men and women of the military forces and the battles they fought. “I recently updated it to include the eagles,” Dale told us. The insignia is graphic and intentional to remind us of many events and qualities of the Spirit of America:

  • Spirit of America – Uniting Together
  • Eagle – Freedom
  • Red – Bloodshed
  • Blue – Valor and Bravery
  • 50 Stars – 50 States
  • POW/MIA – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • 8 Stars – 8 Men who died in Iran rescue attempt
  • Beirut – 241 American troops who lost their lives in barracks explosion
  • Red/White/Blue ribbon between flag staffs – Firefighters, Policemen, Port Authority, Paramedics and EMT’s who died
  • Yellow Ribbon – All the Heroes and civilians who gave or lost their lives on 9/11
  • 2 red/white/blue stars bordering the insignia – represents the Twin Towers
  • Wars – Revolutionary War, War of 1812, U.S. Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Unfortunately after the parades are over and the flags cased, the gratitude we owe our veteran heroes – of whatever war or incident of national consequence like the brave men, women, and first responders of 9/11 – is often tucked away for another day as well. We must not, we cannot forget!  These heroes are the bedrock of American patriotism and exceptionalism! They are the Spirit of America!

Due to his passion that we not forget, Dale Hemphill has founded the Spirit of America USA Foundation. The Spirit of America Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by a naval veteran realizing the need for historical recognition of American’s heroes and the sacrifices they made for our country. Its stated mission:

  • To identify and prioritize veteran’s health issues; to coordinate a unified agenda, strategies, and action for effective legislative public health policies for homeless veterans and their families, and educational campaigns.
  • To provide information on educational resources, research, and timely legislative activities; to develop educational and outreach program training materials for the homeless and destitute.
  • To encourage the establishments of support groups and self-reliant employment, promote self-respect and dignity.
  • To improve communications among local, regional, national, and international support advocacy organizations and individuals by providing expertise, assistance, and networking information; to establish a network linking support groups or veterans organizations by fax or computer.
  • To network with other veterans organizations or individuals with regulatory, legislative, public health, social welfare, and disability organizations; to establish relationships with environmental labor, consumer, minority, children’s advocacy and other veteran’s support groups with common agendas; to insert veteran’s health issues into the mainstream of total health issues; to promote veteran’s justice.
  • To promote health issue research; to promote fund raising events for funding of health issue research.
  • To coordinate a research data base project in conjunction with established support and advocacy organizations to access the prevalence of service-connected disabilities; to provide data for lobbyist and researchers.
  • To establish both standing and special committees to focus on veteran’s health issues and veteran’s issues in general that coordinates national campaigns for veterans and their families.
  • To coordinate fund raising, donor development, grant writing, and customer active programs which will accomplish coalition goals and ensure financial stability and growth; to hire staff members to ensure schooling for the less privileged children of veterans; to provide shelter for the homeless and their families; to provide proper health care for the uninsured; to promote self-employment which establishes self-respect, dignity, and income to those less fortunate.

As the Spirit of America Foundation continues its mission to promote patriotism and the appreciation of our veterans, it has expanded its reach to help veterans in need in today’s tough economy.  FORGOTTEN HEROES USA, LTD, supports the mission of the Spirit of America Foundation by offering patriotic products honoring America’s hardships in history dating back to the Revolutionary War to present day Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. A percentage of each purchase is donated to the Spirit of America Foundation.

Forgotten Heroes

As we refresh our memories
Of all the wars gone by
Let each of us be grateful
For our “Heroes” you and I
They gave their all that we may live
In a country good and free,
“Lest We Forget” They did it all
For the likes of you and me.
Remember the “Heroes”
Who fought our wars
And kept “Old Glory” flying
Those who gave their utmost
And saved us all from dying.

Richard Hemphill – WWII

To all our veterans and heroes – the true Spirit of America – THANK YOU!

~AH

Happy Birthday, US Navy!

Today marks 239 years for the United States Navy, starting with the Continental Navy, when the Continental Congress authorized the procurement of 2 armed vessels, on October 13, 1775. By the end of our War of Independence we had almost 50 ships with 20 warships in our fleet.

I live in Pensacola, Florida and we are a Navy town. Our Naval Air Base Pensacola is a longtime site for maritime vessels. This is called the “Cradle of Naval Aviation.”

navy aerialNAS Pensacola is the primary base for Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard Aviators. In 1825, President John Quincy Adams designated this area for the Pensacola Navy Yard. The Navy Appropriations Act of 1911 made the possibilities of Naval Aviation.

We are also home of the Untied States Navy Blue Angels. The Blue Angels were formed in 1946 for the morale of the Navy. We are real proud of “our” Blue Angels around here. We get two shows, one out on Pensacola Beach and then their Homecoming Show in November.

flag blue angel pcola beach signMy Grandbaby Lilly was here in July and we went out to the beach for the show. As you may imagine, it was a perfect day. The show in November will be held out on the base and we will be going out for that too.

Our Navy is rich in history. Their motto is “Not Self, But Country,” or “Non sibi sed patriae”. With that in mind, Honey and I took our pup to take a run out to the beach just last night. As we were unloading the truck, a polite young man came up to us to “borrow” a smoke, I asked: “Do you have a lighter?” Oh, yes ma’am. About 5 minutes later he came out to the water for that light. My Honey asked, “what you boys doing?” He said they were stationed out to the base. My Honey, being the Marine Vet he is,  reached around and gave that young man a twenty spot, “just to get through”.

navy flagI was standing in the water looking toward two different generations of Military men and thinking “Not Self, But Country”

**Jacquie

United States Air Force

milaf23n_-00_air-force-flag-2x3ft-nylonToday the United States Air Force turns 67 years old. Under the National Security Act of 1947 signed on September 18 aboard President Harry S. Truman’s VC-54C presidential transport (the forerunner to the Air Force One), this Act re-structured the military’s agencies after WWII, creating the Department of the Air Force. This is the most recent, largest, most technologically advanced Air Force in the world. In 1907, the War Department the first preceding Air Force. In WWII almost 68,000 US Airmen died helping win the war. Before 1947 Air Defense was shared between the Department of Army for land based operations, The Navy for sea-based operations from aircraft carriers and amphibious air craft and The Marine Corps for close air support for infantry operations.

In general the United States Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned. It shall be organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 502)

FLGIMGS1000000428_-00_Lackland-Air-Force-Base-Image-Downloadable-Image_3The USAF core functions today are Nuclear Deference Operations, Special Operations, Air Superiority, Global Integrated ISR, Space Superiority, Command & Control, Cyberspace Superiority, Personal Recovery, Global Precision Attack, Building Partnerships, Rapid Global Mobility and Agile Combat Support. A very long list I had no idea the Air Force did to maintain our National defense until researching their Birthday.

67 years does not seem to be a long time, considering we have only been using air craft to support ground troops since The Korean War. My daddy was in the Air Force during the late 50’s- early 60’s. Daddy was a diesel mechanic and worked on planes. He was stationed mainly in the Azores and then at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan where he met and married my momma. My daddy passed away in 2010 and there is not a day that passes that I do not miss him. He was a GREAT story teller. So to all of our Airmen, past, present and future:

Off we go into the wild blue yonder, Climbing high into the sun

**Jacquie

(The Airforce Song Words and Music by Captain Robert Crawford, ©1939)