Considering there are hundreds if not thousands of flag designs in the world we aren't ashamed to admit that these three flags have us stumped. Yep, the flag and banner specialists are at a loss and asking for your help. In return we'll gladly provide the winner with a 3'H x 5'W Nylon U.S. flag. Take a look below and post your answers in the comments section of this blog article. Good luck and thanks for the help!
NAME THAT FLAG!
Thanks for playing!
Okay, so you won’t see any of us standing in the Winner’s Circle but you will see one of our most unique products to date!
We were asked to create the blanket that will be draped over the winning horse in the upcoming Belmont Stakes. The blanket is a hybrid of techniques and materials. The field is an elegant forest green velvet material and the seal containing the race logo is crafted in layers of nylon fabric. Each layer was painstakingly stitched on (appliqued), color by color, and hand- trimmed to reveal the Belmont Stakes logo in detail. The double-layered construction of the finished product has made it thick and soft—all in all, a handsome adornment for the proud winner.
Here at Accent Banner we’re rooting for “I’ll Have Another” to win at Belmont, making him the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. Hard to believe it’s been 34 years since “Affirmed” outran the competition and accomplished that amazing feat. Whatever the outcome, it’s bound to be exciting!
Photo from: Reuters/Wall St. journal
For more information on this year’s Belmont Stakes visit www.belmontstakes.com. To catch all of the racing action tune into NBC Saturday the 9th starting at 5pm. If you’re lucky enough to be going to the race, do us a favor and pop some pics of the winner draped in our blanket. We’d love to see them and there just might be a little something in it for you as well!
Accent Banner is privileged to have been chosen to fabricate the 2012 Belmont Stakes Winner’s Circle
blanket. We enjoyed the challenge and eagerly await the moment of its intended purpose!
Light pole banners have become a staple in the marketing and sign industries. They are a great opportunity to reach the public and make them aware of an event, performance, or sports team. Often sponsors choose to be included on pole banners as they are aware that pole banners reach an audience much larger then their customer lists or even online marketing which seems to be becoming the modern equivalent to junk mail. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when designing pole banners. Utilizing these tips will help you get the most out of your design and is sure to make your sponsors very happy with the visibility of their corporate identity.
1. GO BIG!
Pole banners are most often viewed from a distance. The larger the letters the easier they are to read. Make sure to create a hierarchy of information for your banner. In other words, the most important information should be the largest and the least important information should be the smallest.
The United States Sign Council (USSC) has done extensive research and determined the optimum viewing distance based on every inch of letter height, known as the Legibility Index (LI). For example, a sign with an LI of 22 means that 1” capital letters should be legible from a distance of 22 feet. Likewise 10” capital letters are legible at 220’. Additionally, the LI also reflects a 15% increase in letter height required when all upper case letters are used instead of the more legible upper and lower case letters with initial caps.
2. NEGATIVE SPACE
Negative space in this sense is the space in between and around the letters and images included in a banner layout. The space around the letters/images is equally important as letter height. The human eye works with our brain to see words as shapes. Having enough space around these shapes allows our brains to more quickly identify and understand the word/shape. The USSC has determined a ratio of 40/60 as a standard for sign legibility. 40% coverage with text or image and 60% negative space.
3. HIGH CONTRAST
In addition to letter size and the relationship of letter size to negative space, the greater the amount of contrast in color of text to background helps increase legibility. Consider speed limit signs which are typically black text on a white background. Although this may seem a bit boring it is the highest amount of contrast you can have from background to text. The more contrast there is between text and background the more the text will “pop” off of the sign and in turn be more readable, especially when viewed from a distance or while moving.
Do you know the definition of “vexillology?” If you over heard a discussion between two vexillologists (and we’re sure there are at least two of them) it would likely sound like a conversation in some strange alien language. Well, hold on to your potatoes folks because we’re about to give you a lesson in vexillology, the scientific study of flags.
The study of flags is quite interesting. No, seriously it is. Just, do a Google search on the term “gonfalon” and you’ll see tons of examples of what we mean.
Gonfalon - an elaborate flag, usually of intricate design hung from a crossbar.
Here are some additional flag terms you may find interesting:
Canton – the upper hoist quarter of a flag (see hoist below)
Charge – an emblem or device added to a flag or shield
Cockade – an ornament (rosette) or other significant colors worn as badge
Field – the background color of a flag or shield
Fimbriation – a thin band of color that separates two other colors
Fly – the half of a flag away from the flagstaff
Hoist – the half of a flag nearest the staff
Jack – a flag flown at the bow of a ship to indicate its nationality
Jolly Roger – common name for flag supposedly used by pirate…Arr
Livery Colors – the main colors of the field and main figure on a coat of arms
Obverse – the side of a flag seen when the staff is on the spectator’s left
Saltire – a diagonal cross
Staff – the pole from which a flag is flown
Fascinating isn’t it? Don’t forget to search “gonfalon” and may, your un-tattered flag always fly true in a stiff breeze.
Please note the source for the above information is from Flags by Kent Alexander & Dr. Whitney Smith (Consulting Editor), published in 1992 by Mallard Press, NY, NY.
- Did you know that the current 50 star design of the United States flag has lasted longer than any other design in U.S. history? Essentially this is because we have not added a new state to our great country since the addition of Hawaii on August 21, 1959. Luckily, Robert Heft the designer of the 50 star flag has already designed a 51 star flag so if we ever choose to add another state we’ll be good to go!
- In colonial America there were only 8 different dye colors that were easily produced. Light blue, indigo blue, gold, red, white, yellow, green and black. A few of these colors we’re ruled out right away as yellow was the color of quarantine and black has long been symbolic of death in western culture. That leaves just green, gold, and light blue as the colors not selected by Francis Hopkinson for use in his flag design.
- Get this! Using the flag as decorative bunting has played a major roll in U.S. history at least once. President Lincoln visited Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. He was provided a box seat decorated with bunched flags, a common practice at the time. Later that night John Wilkes Booth crept up behind Lincoln and shot him. Booth then jumped onto the railing of Lincoln’s box seat and proclaimed “Sic semper tyrannis” (“Thus always to tyrants”). He then planned to jump down to the stage to make his escape. However, as Booth went to make his move his spur caught on the decorative flag bunched along the railing causing him to loose his balance, land awkwardly and injure his leg. Booth pushed thru the pain and escaped only to be captured nearby, a few days later.
For years after this an urban legend was spread that the flag that reached up and grabbed Booth was “Old Glory” herself. However, it turns out that the actual “hero flag” was the flag of the Treasury department Regimental Unit.
*Referenced The Care and Display of the American Flag by the editors of Sharpman.com 2004 for entire blog post.
Americans are a proud people and our feelings toward Old Glory are no exception to the rule. Sadly, we can’t protect our flags all of the time and as a result they take a large amount of wear and tear. Below is a short list of things to keep an eye out for in hopes of prolonging the good looks of your flags.
5. The sun
Protecting your flag from the sun is like saving an ice cube from the cold . . . it just can’t be done. Unfortunately, whether you have a printed or appliquéd flag it is only a matter of time before the sun’s rays fade the colors in your flag. Printed flags use UV inks and appliquéd flags are dyed in a manner that fights against the sun but ultimately the sun will win this battle.
That’s right, the very thing that makes your flag fly so beautifully and proudly also destroys it little by little. When the wind blows through a flag, the flag makes a motion similar to that of a bullwhip. You can even hear a flag make that “cracking whip” sound if the winds are blowing strongly enough. This whip motion sends energy down the length of the flag causing it to rip at the fly end. Accent Banner has developed super strong finishing for flags such as reinforced headers, corners, and fly ends. Nonetheless, the ideal way of avoiding wind damage to your flag is to bring the flag indoors during high wind weather.
Flags flying in urban environments suffer damage from pollution the most. With each passing car, semi-truck, or even trains the air is filled with soot and pollutants that embed themselves into the fibers of a flag. This causes discoloration and also weakens the fibers of the flag material. Accent Banner offers flag cleaning and repair services, but if you would like to give it a shot yourself you can download a how to you guide on our site.
2. Trees, houses, and other objects
Imagine an ice sculptor who uses a chisel to chip away at a large piece of ice to make their creation. Slowly but surely they chip away at a once solid and strong piece of ice creating beautiful yet fragile ice sculpture. When a flag whips thru the air and comes in contact with tree limbs, building facades, or any other object that flag is being chiseled away at and eventually becomes weaker and weaker. The only solution for this is to not fly a flag where it will come in contact with any other object.
There’s a saying, “We hurt the ones we love the most.” In the case of flags that is most certainly true. It is ironic that our love and pride in a flag is often the cause of its demise but it is. We love to see our flag flying so much that we often neglect to bring the flag indoors during inclement weather. You may be surprised at how much longer a flag can last outdoors when it is treated with care and stored indoors during spells of nasty weather, not to mention that there are actual federal laws against flying the American flag in severe conditions.
In other words, use common sense when displaying your flag. Anything that might damage or soil your flag should be avoided. A flag may look beautiful flying along side a busy road but if that road has a lot of traffic you risk exposing your flag to soot and other pollutants. Placing a flag in a high wind area puts the flag at risk of tearing. Placing a flag next to a cactus in a windy, sun beaten desert where there is no one to look after it is just plain asking for trouble.
From French, appliqué (pronounced app-la-kay) literally means “that which has been applied.” As an art form, a common example of appliqué is found in the world of ceramics, where a smaller often more decorative piece is attached to a larger vessel. With respect to sewing, appliqué is a needlework technique in which pieces of fabric or material are stitched onto a larger field of material to create text, images, or patterns. The process is labor-intensive but the effect is visually stunning—an overall superior result to printed format. Indoor facilities (athletic and otherwise) are the ideal forum for appliquéd banners and flags, which retain their bold, quality appearance even when viewed from a distance.
Historically, designs for appliquéd banners were projected onto fabric and then traced by hand. Once the design had been completely transferred each shape would be hand sewn. This process was time-consuming and allowed room for human error. Luckily, the modern age provides us with the technology and equipment to produce appliquéd banners and flags more quickly and accurately to the desired design. Digital art files that have been properly vectorized are exported thru a plotter, which creates a 100% accurate pattern for transferring the design to fabric. Then it’s on to the Production Room where Accent Banner proudly maintains a fleet of “work horse” sewing machines made by Singer in 1955. Once the stitching process is completed, excess fabric is trimmed away to reveal the desired image.
Appliquéd banners are Accent Banner’s signature product. These beautiful, colorful, and unique fabric-on-fabric stitched creations are designed and hand-crafted on-site, with benefit of the finest workmanship in the industry.