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Flag Parts 101: What are Snap Hooks?

Posted by Accent Banner on Sep 27, 2017 9:19:23 AM

When it comes to flying your flags properly and securely, you will want to make sure you have the best parts. The following article is about a small but highly important piece of equipment for any flag; the snap hook. 

 

What are Snap Hooks?

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Snap hooks attach your flag to the halyard, or rope. You can find them in nylon, brass or stainless steel. Nylon hooks are most commonly used in residential areas as they produce less noise when they hit against your flag pole. Brass and stainless-steel are more often found in commercial areas because they will last longer and withstand the wear and tear from the weather. Stainless-steel snaph ooks are by far the most durable of the three. If you buy a brass or stainless-steel snap hook, you should add snap hook covers to protect them and cut the amount of noise they create. Checkout our step by step article on how to attach a snap hook cover for more information. 

 

 

How to Attach a Snap Hook?

1.) Pinch your halyard between your thumb and forefinger to create a loop.   
 
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2.) Next poke this loop you've just made through the eyelet of the snap hook.

NOTE: do not tie your snap hook to the halyard. Doing so eliminates the ability to adjust your snap hook position according to your flag size. Make sure you adjust the snap hooks as you clip your flag in the last step, because if you have the snaps too far apart or too close together, it will cause your flag to fly improperly.

 

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3.) Pull your loop up and over the snap hook then fold it back towards the halyard. You want to pull a large enough amount of slack through so that you can wrap the halyard loop over the snap hook. An easy way to adjust the snap hooks on the halyard is through the loosening and tightening of the slack.

 

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4.) Finally, make sure you tighten the rope so that the snap hook is secure. After the halyard loop is over the snap hook you need to take up the slack so the snap hook is stable. If done correctly, the more the wind blows, the tighter and more anchored the snap hook becomes. After finishing this step, repeat the process for the second snap hook and attach your flag.

 

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We hope this article has helped explain an often overlooked yet incredibly important piece of hardware for flying flags properly. If you are inneed of snap hooks or want to request a quote on custom flags, flagpole installation, or anything else flag and banner related please contact us today!

 

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Topics: flag care, flag parts, snap hooks

Flag History: A Short History of Flag Burning

Posted by Accent Banner on Sep 15, 2017 2:07:00 PM

 

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A Brief History of Flag Burning Laws

Like many forms of political protest in the U.S., modern flag burning originated during the Vietnam era. (The first recorded flag burnings were by Southerners protesting Abraham Lincoln just before the Civil War, but there is no real evidence that it continued before Vietnam.) In keeping with the heightened wartime rhetoric, nearly every state made desecrating the flag a crime--sometimes with new laws, sometimes via the invocation of little-used laws already on the books. In 1968, Congress passed the first federal anti-desecration law in response to an incident in Central Park. One year later, the Supreme Court found in Street v. New York that a state law was unconstitutional in that it allowed the plaintiff, Sidney Street, to be convicted merely for speaking ill of the American flag. The Court, however, did not rule on whether or not laws against flag burning (which Street had also done) were also unconstitutional.

 

Free Speech and The Supreme Court

That precedent did not change for two decades, in Texas v. Johnson. In 1984, a man named Gregory Lee Johnson was arrested and convicted for burning a flag during that year's Republican National Convention. (The incident caused Congress to introduce a Constitutional amendment against flag burning, which led to a wave of new flag burnings nationwide.) Five years later, the Supreme Court decided that flag burning itself was protected speech under the Constitution; after Congress changed the anti-desecration law to fit the guidelines of Texas v. Johnson, the Court continued to overturn convictions on the basis that those convictions were still made to limit free speech.

 

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Flag Burning as a Form of Protest

29D806E100000578-3133597-image-a-28_1434913621415.jpgFlag burning exists, as mentioned, as a form of protest. Flags are highly recognizable symbols; blended with national pride, they evoke a powerful sense of patriotism within large majorities of people (in most countries) that love where they live. Because of this, burning one becomes one of the most powerful forms of protest possible, both in what it says about the strength of the burner's anger and in the backlash it receives from those who view desecration of the flag as a desecration of their home. This applies whether the burner is an American or a citizen of a different nation protesting something that America has done in their homeland.

Even though the United States has declared flag burning a protected form of speech, other countries have legal repercussions for those who do it. Interestingly, while many Americans would assume the strictest laws exist in the most totalitarian countries, that is not at all the case. China, for example, has sentences as short as fifteen days for flag desecration. Russia does not appear to have any law against it.

On the other hand, some of the strongest laws against flag burning are in a few of the United States' closest allies. France can fine a person up to 7,500 Euros, and throw them in jail for six months, if they burn a French flag at a large gathering. South Korea's laws can apply to flag desecration done by non-citizens outside the boundaries of South Korea. And in 2016, Israel passed a law that allowed up to three years in prison for anyone convicted of burning not just an Israeli flag, but one of an allied country as well. 

Whether you consider it acceptable or not, flag burning is a serious method of protest with a history worth knowing. If you're interested in flags, custom banners, flag repair, or how to correctly retire a flag, contact the flag specialists at Accent Banner to learn more.  

 

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Topics: flag facts, flag history, flag burning, flag law

Flag Tips, Trivia and History: Five of the Most Interesting State Flags

Posted by Accent Banner on Aug 15, 2017 7:56:00 AM

While the American flag is one of the most well-known symbols in the world, the individual state flags are much less famous despite offering quirky anecdotes to a state’s unique history. With the influences of European powers combined with features that are unmistakably American, each of the 50 flags has a story to tell and symbolizes a state’s place in the union. Here’s a look at five states with the most intriguing backstories for their official state flags.

Arizona State Flag:

When the Arizona National Guard was set to compete in the National Rifle Matches in 1910, the team probably didn’t know that the design they chose for the event would turn into the emblem of the state for the next century. Even though Governor Thomas Campbell actually refused to sign the bill to make it the state flag in 1917, the state legislature adopted it anyway and the red, blue, yellow and copper design continues to be the official state flag of Arizona. True to the Spanish influence of the region, the main color scheme is actually borrowed from Spain’s flag, although the thirteen rays of red and yellow represent the thirteen original American colonies.

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Iowa State Flag:

The prize for the most French-influenced flag in the U.S. goes to Iowa, which only seems an unlikely connection on the surface. Utilizing the vertical blue, white and red French Tricolor as a starting point, Iowa’s flag is a throwback to the days before the Louisiana Purchase, although the bald eagle at the heart of the flag is also distinctly Americana. Originally designed by a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution during WWI, the flag faced some fierce opposition from a Civil War veterans’ organization but was finally officially taken on in 1921.

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Maryland State Flag:

The Maryland flag looks a bit like the result of Lewis Carroll designing a chess board, although the unique design is also filled with symbolism that points to the complex history of Maryland. Meant as a tribute to George Calvert, better known as Lord Baltimore, the flag combines colored arms of red and white with the black and gold coat of arms that was a symbol of Calvert, who helped to settle the colony back in the early 1600s. Centuries later, Marylanders who fought for the Union Army would identify with the black and gold coat of arms while Confederate fighters picked up the red and white symbol called a Crossland banner. After the Civil War ended, the collaboration of the two distinctly different banners onto the official state flag of Maryland was designed to help bridge any ideological divide that lingered.

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Virginia State Flag:

Virginia went all the way back to Ancient Rome for the inspiration for the state flag, which showcases a fallen king and the Latin phrase that means “Thus always for tyrants.” Although the phrase was infamously revived by John Wilkes Booth during the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the words were first uttered by the Shakespearean version of Marcus Brutus during the Julius Caesar assassination. Originally designed in 1776 shortly after the American colonies split from King George II, the flag portrays a fictitious Amazon woman pinning down a beaten king, pointing to the self-rule that was central to the Declaration of Independence. Even though the symbol was popular long before the Civil War, it wasn’t made the unofficial state flag until 1861 and was tinkered with over the decades until it was officially adopted in 1950.

 

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Topics: flag history, flag trivia, state flags

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