National Pennsylvania Day

July 20th, 2018 is National Pennsylvania Day! Why July 20th, when Pennsylvania entered the Union on December 12, 1787? No idea. Nevertheless, we’ll take this opportunity to learn some fun facts about Pennsylvania (or P-A as we like to call it). And even though I’m from Pittsburgh, I’ll throw some love out to Philadelphia, too.

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Pennsylvania’s State flag is more of a square than a rectangle. It is composed of a blue field on which the State Coat of Arms is embroidered. The Pennsylvania coat of arms features a shield crested by an American bald eagle, flanked by horses, and adorned with symbols of Pennsylvania’s strengths—a ship carrying state commerce to all parts of the world; a clay-red plough, a symbol of Pennsylvania’s rich natural resources; and three golden sheaves of wheat, representing fertile fields and Pennsylvania’s wealth of human thought and action. An olive branch and cornstalk cross limbs beneath—symbols of peace and prosperity. The scroll at the bottom reads Virtue, Liberty and Independence.

We all know that Pennsylvania is rich with history, so let’s learn some fun and interesting facts about Pennsylvania:

The Philadephia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers merged to form the Steagles for one season in 1943. The teams merged because both lost so many players to military service during WWII.

In 1909 the first baseball stadium was built in Pittsburgh (Forbes Field).

The first daily newspaper was published in Philadelphia on Sept. 21, 1784.

Pennsylvania is the birthplace of a lot of America’s favorite junk food. A short list of Pennsylvania-founded companies includes Rita’s Water Ice, Hershey’s, Tastykake, Just Born (makers of Peeps), Auntie Anne’s, Herr’s, Planters, Utz, Wise, and Snyder’s of Hanover. Many of these are located in a part of central Pennsylvania that’s commonly called the Snack Belt.

The iconic banana split sundae was born in 1904 in Latrobe, Pa., when 23-year-old David Evans Strickler was experimenting with new sundaes while apprenticing at the local Tassel Pharmacy.

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.

State Post – South Dakota

South Dakota’s name is derived from the Sioux word “Dakota”, meaning friend. South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889 after President James Buchanan signed a bill creating the Dakota territory to make both North and South Dakota. Both states were admitted to the Union on the same day. In addition to North and South Dakota, both Montana and Wyoming were also in the Dakota Territory.

South Dakota’s state flag is a light blue color with the state seal placed in the center. Around the state seal is a yellow sun, shining its rays around the seal. Around the sun and the state seal are the words South Dakota and The Mount Rushmore State., as the state is home to Mount Rushmore, one of the most well-known monuments in the world. The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are carved (by drill) in a batholith in the Black Hills of Keystone, South Dakota. The monument took over six and a half years to complete, with construction ending in 1941. The monument attracts over 2 million visitors each year.

Along with Mount Rushmore, South Dakota is also home to the Badlands National Park. The park is a mixed-grass prairie and is the largest protected mixed-grass prairie there is. In this national park are wildlife ranging from bison to butterflies, along with fossils teaching about flora and fauna in prehistoric times. Tourists are able to bicycle, hike, and camp in the Badlands.

 

-CD

State Post – Nevada

Nevada is the 36th state to enter the union. Since its entry, the state has had several variations of their state flag. Nevada had a previous state flag was blue, had thirty six stars on it, and had the words “Silver” and “Gold” emblazoned on it, to reflect their most famous resources. The flag underwent several changes until 1926 when a contest was held to design a brand new state flag since the previous version was too expensisnv35n-indoor_-00_front_nevada-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1ve to reproduce. The winner was Louis Schellbach III, who kept the blue background of the original flag but the previous use of the state’s coat of arms was now replaced by a wreath

Although Nevada’s current state flag was adopted on March 26, 1929, it was later revised on June 8, 1991. The current Nevada flag is still cobalt blue with a white five pointed star off to the left hand side. In between the star are two sagebrushes, forming a half-wreath. Underneath the star reads “Nevada”, and above is a golden ribbon that says, “Battle Born”, the state’s motto, which symbolizes the birth of statehood in Nevada.

Nevada is well known for their famous tourist cities like Las Vegas, Reno, and Laughlin. Las Vegas is possibly the most popular city with over 40 million visitors each year. The city is home to casinos that never close and shows like Cirque du Soleil and singers who perform shows regularly in the casinos. The Vegas strip runs for 4 and a half miles and is nothing but neon lights throughout.

The Hoover Dam is also home to Nevada, located just on the border of Arizona and Nevada. The dam was originally called Boulder Dam and was built during the Great Depression. Naming the dam was controversial, since the name was changed to Hoover Dam before and then changed back to Boulder Dam (thanks to Harold Ickes) before it was changed once again to Hoover Dam for good. It was indeed named for 31st President Herbert Hoover.

Name: Nevada was named after the mountain range, the Sierra Nevada. The name Nevada means “snow covered” but unfortunately, the state is the driest in the nation!

State Post – Iowa

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Iowa was included in the Louisiana Purchase, came under US control in 1803, and became the 29th state on December 28, 1846. The state flag was not adopted until 1921 when it was designed by a Mrs. Dixie Gebhardt who was from the Daughters of the American Revolution of Iowa. The flag’s colors are red, white, and blue, and take on the same tricolor pattern as the French flag, paying homage to its French roots. The white center of the flag is larger and has a bald eagle holding a flowing ribbon in its beak. The ribbon reads, “Our Liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.”

Iowa’s state capital is Des Moines which had been named after a military post called Fort Des Moines that had been established along the Des Moines river during the 1840s. The city was officially incorporated on September 22, 1851. The city has a population of over 204,000 (as of the 2010 Census) but a Metro population of nearly 570,000.

Iowa got its state name is from the word Ioway, the French version of the name Bah-kho-je, which was the name of the Indian tribe that lived in the area.

Well known Iowans-31st US President Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, IA, on August 10, 1874.

Actor John Wayne (born as Marion Mitchell Morrison) was born in Winterset, IA on May 26, 1907.

-CD

State Post – Missouri

Missouri became the 24th state in the United States on August 10, 1821. The state (or territory) was first obtained as a part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was later admitted as a state during the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

The Missouri Compromise was an attempt to preserve the balance of power of Congress between slave and free states. When the Compromise was passed in 1820, Maine became a free state and Missouri became a slave state as a result. Later on, the Compromise was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, ruling that Congress did not have the power to change law regarding slavery in the territories.smo35n-indoor_-00_front_missouri-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe

Missouri’s state flag was designed by Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver in 1913. The flag is rectangular with three horizontal stripes, which are red, white, and blue. They represent the state’s French heritage as they were part of the Louisiana Purchase, bought from France. The stripes also represent valor, justice, purity, and vigilance. In the center is a blue-banded circle surrounded by 24 stars, symbolizing the 24 states in the Union. Inside the circle are two grizzly bears, who represent bravery and strength. The bears are holding a shield which has a gold knight’s helmet sitting atop of it and 24 more stars. Inside the shield is the Missouri Coat of Arms, which is divided by three images. On the right side is a bald eagle grasping olive branches and arrows in its talons (these mean war and peace). On the left side is a grizzly bear on a red background and a crescent moon on a blue background.

Underneath the bears is a white belt which reads, United We Stand, United We Fall. Notice that the grizzly bears holding the shield are standing on top of a ribbon which reads, Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto (Let the Welfare of the People Be The Supreme Law). Finally, underneath the motto is the Roman numeral for 1820, the year which Missouri became a state.

Missouri is also known for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Meriwether Lewis  and William Clark were asked by Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase to explore the land beyond the West of the great rock mountains. The two gentlemen started their journey in St. Louis, journeying to the Pacific and returning in 1806. They made diplomatic relations with Native Americans and maps were drawn by Clark, who also named many of the places he drew.

Trivia: Iced Tea was first served at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis!

State Post – Indiana

Indiana is the 19th state to enter the union on December 11, 1816. Indiana was originally part of the Indiana Territory, formed in 1800. This territory included surrounding states Illinois, Wisconsin, and some areas of Michigan and Minnesota. While Indiana was part of the Indiana Territory, the capital was Vicennes from 1805 until 1813, when it was changed to Corydon. By 1825, it had again changed to Indianapolis and has remained ever since. A constitution was later reached in 1916, thus giving Indiana its statehood.

sin35i_3x5_indianaIndiana’s state flag was designed by Paul Hadley of Mooresville, Indiana and adopted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1917. His design was chosen as the winner in a design contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Indiana state centennial in 1916. The flag is blue with 19 gold stars emblazoned on it. The first five stars connected to the torch in a semi-circle symbolize the states admitted to the United States before Indiana but after the original 13 colonies. The star above the torch is the Indiana star along with the words Indiana written in yellow.

Although Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, he moved to Indiana at the age of 7 with his parents and grew up in Indiana. His childhood home in Spencer County, Indiana, is now a museum.

Hoosiers: Indiana is known as “The Hoosier State”. People from the state of Indiana are known as Hoosiers but no one knows for sure where the term originated from. Some believe it’s a term people used to describe the early settlers of Indiana, others believe it is shortened from “Who’s your relative?” These are just two of the rumored origins of the term Hoosier.

Name Origin: Indiana means, “Land of the Indians”, named in 1800.

Memorial Day Tradition: The Indianapolis 500, also known as the Indy 500 race, is held each Memorial Day weekend. It has been held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1911.

Louisiana – The 18th State

louisiana-printed-poly_1On April 30, 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state in the United States. Louisiana was originally a French in 1731 but was relinquished to Spain after the French and Indian Wars. Louisiana was eventually returned back to France in about 1800. The famous French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte sold Louisiana to the United States just two years later in 1803 in what was known as the Louisiana Purchase.

Louisiana did not adopt a state flag until 100 years after it became a state in 1912. The background of the flag is blue which represents truth and placed in the center of the flag is the state bird, The Eastern Brown Pelican, feeding her three young chicks inside a nest. There is a legend saying that the mother pelican is tearing flesh from herself at the chest to feed her own young. And underneath the birds is a ribbon stating the state’s motto, Union, Justice, and Confidence.

Louisiana is home to New Orleans, famous for Mardi Gras, which is always celebrated 46 days before Easter. The city hosted its first Mardi Gras parade in 1837 and the floats did not start coming until twenty years later. The celebration generates a revenue of over $840 million annually thanks to tourists and regulars who come to celebrate.

How Louisiana Got Named: Louisiana was named after Louis XIV of France.

No Counties? Louisiana is one of two U.S. states that do not have counties. Instead, Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes. The only other state without counties is Alaska and they are divided by boroughs.

State Post: Vermont

The first thirteen colonies were cosvt35n-indoor_-00_front_vermont-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1mplete after the admission of Rhode Island into the union. It had been less than one year when the next state, Vermont, became the first state after the formation of the thirteen colonies, also known as state number fourteen.

Vermont’s state flag was not adopted until 1923 although there was a previous state flag. This flag is a dark blue with the state’s coat of arms on it. In the coat of arms is a pine tree, a cow, some bales of hay, and sheaths of wheat. There are purple mountains in the background against a blue sk. On top of the coat of arms is a stag’s head, and on the bottom boughs of pine needles envelope the coat of arms. There is also a red ribbon which reads Vermont and the state’s motto Freedom and Unity.

Vermont’s name is French for “green mountain”, or mont vert due to the state being surrounded by green mountains. Vermont is also the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, producing over 500,000 gallons per year. While the state’s capitol is Montpelier, the population in the city is less than 10,000 people.

Cool Trivia: Vermont is the state where Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream was founded! The company also gives their ice cream waste to local farmers who then feed it to their hogs(unfortunately, mint Oreo is not their favorite flavor).

Presidential Birthdays:

  • Chester A. Arthur (serving 1881-1885) was also born in Fairfield, VT in 1830.
  • Calvin Coolidge (serving 1923-1929) is the ONLY US president to have been born on the 4th of July in Plymouth, VT.

Rhode Island

The final colony to enter the union is Rhode Island on May 29, 1790. It is the smallest state in the United States at Rhode Island is so small that they’re composed of only five counties! Despite being a small state, Rhode Island is well known for it’s large shoreline. Set on Narragansett Bay (Atlantic Ocean), the shoreline runs for nearly 400 miles, earning the nickname “The Ocean State”.

sri35n-indoor_-00_front_rhode-island-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe_1The Rhode Island state flag was adopted in 1879. The flag is white with a yellow anchor in the center. The anchor is encircled by thirteen yellow stars to represent the thirteen colonies. Underneath the anchor is a light blue ribbon which reads the state motto “Hope”. The colors on this state flag date all the way back to colonial times, the original establishment of Rhode Island, and the Providence Plantations ruled under King Charles II of England.

Rhode Island is home to two war memorials. The first memorial is The Korean War Memorial of Rhode Island in Providence, RI. The memorial was erected to honor Rhode Island citizens who served and died in the Korean War (1950-1953). The names of those Killed in Action (KIA) or Missing in Action (MIA) are engraved in white bricks while the red bricks bear the names of the men and women who served during the war. The second war memorial is The World War I Memorial in Miantonomi Park, RI where it was established in 1921 to memorialize those who had been lost in WWI (1914-1918). The memorial is 100 foot tower of stone along with a 30 foot flagpole at the top. It became listed as a National Historic Park in 1969.

The Ocean: Nearly all residents of Rhode Island live about 30 miles from the ocean!

Early Days: Rhode Island was originally known as “The Colony of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations”, an early settlement. After the American Revolution, the land became known as the State of Rhode Island.

State Flags – Virginia

VA FlagWe are almost done with the original thirteen colony states! Virginia marks the tenth state to be added into the Union. Becoming a state on June 25, 1788, Virginia was named after Queen Elizabeth I, The Virgin Queen. The state is bordered by two bodies of water, Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean while being surrounded by five other states (Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia). It is also near Washington DC.

Virginia’s state flag is bright blue with a white circle in the center. Inside the center are the words Virginia on top along with the words “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” which means “Thus always to tyrants” in Latin. Also inside the circle are two people. One is the goddess Virtue, who is holding a sword and a spear. Her foot is on a man, who turns out to be the tyrant that she defeated. He has a chain and a whip in his hand while his crown lies fallen nearby.

Governor's Palace Garden
Colonial Williamsburg

Virginia has more presidents born in this state than any other. Eight presidents-George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison (who sadly had a very short presidency of 32 days and was the first U.S. president to die in office), John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson (in beautiful Staunton, to which I have had the honor of visiting a few years back. They have a brilliant Shakespeare house). George Washington’s birthplace in Westmoreland County, Virginia (in Colonial Beach) is marked as a National Monument. There is so much presidential history in this state that it would take a while to get through it all!

peanuts
(c) Josh Westrich—zefa/Corbis

Food Fact! Virginia is also known for its delicious Virginia Peanuts. They are longer than the standard peanut you find in the grocery store.

State Nickname: Old Dominion

~CD