What is Vexillology?

Posted by Accent Banner on Oct 30, 2017 11:56:00 AM

What is Vexillology?

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Vexillology is the study of history, symbolism, origins, and uses of flags as well as any general interest in flags and what their history, symbolism, and meaning is to the people who live in that specific area of the world. the word vexillology comes from the synthesis of the Greek word vexillum which means "flag" and the Greek suffix -logia which means "study". This makes the world vexillology which means "study of the flags". 

 

Vecillology Associations

Since this field of study was established there has been a various vexillological association that has popped up around the world where people are interested in studying the history, emblems, and flags that have meant so much to so many people from various parts of the world for so long. One such vexillological association is The UK's National Flag Charity which is entirely funded by member's subscriptions to the association and this is currently the largest membership-based flag organization in the world with members hailing from all 6 inhabited continents. 

 

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The society's goal is to educate people about the important roles that flags play in societies all around the world. The UK's National Flag Charity was founded on St. George's Day which was 23 April 1971. The Flag Institute is proud to maintain until this very day that it has the largest national registry of flags registered anywhere in the UK both on a national and on a regional level. 

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*Example of the subtle history that's included in a flag - like this Portuguese National Flag.

 

Anyone can be a registered member and will receive a quarterly publication called the Flagmaster and are also invited to attend meetings held by the UK's National Flag charity which is held at various locations throughout the UK. The UK's National Flag Charity is also proud to provide vexillological services to HM Government and many other UK organizations as well as others around the world including the United Nations. Our offered services to these organizations include advising on uses of flags, designing new flags, and collecting information about flags that already exist around the world.

For more flag facts and information take a look at our other blog posts. To create a custom flag or banner for your own home or business contact one of our flag specialists to receive a free quote. A member of our team can talk you through the process of creating your own custom banner or flag.  

 

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Topics: flag facts, flag history, vexillology

3 Pieces of U.S. Flag Trivia (That You Might Not Know)

Posted by Accent Banner on Oct 19, 2017 3:04:00 PM

The U.S. flag is an instantly recognizable symbol of pride for many Americans. However, Old Glory has some unusual quirks to it that not all of us know about. If you think you're well-versed on the history of the nation's banner, here's a few pieces of flag trivia that you might now know!

 

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*Looks like somebody made a hasty mistake - however it could be a cry for help!

 

#1: Flying the Flag Upside Down

We all know that the flag flies with the stars on blue in the upper left... but if someone flies the flag upside down, that doesn't mean they made a mistake. It's a distress signal, and means imminent help is required. According to the United States Flag Code: "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."  So next time you think somebody made a silly mistake with their upside down flag, think again! This could be a call of distress!

 

#2: Lighting the US Flag

2f7bf1df0129a9747fe6b05f2f569241.jpg Along with the numerous other rules and procedures that make up the flag code, one includes how the flag is to be lit up. The Flag Code states “The flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.”  According to Were You Wondering, this is why if a flag is left on its pole overnight, a light needs to be shone on it. Natural light is perfectly acceptable for illumination, though, which is why flags are traditionally raised at dawn, and lowered at sunset. In order to be fully respectful of the correct rules of flying the American flag be sure to have the correct outdoor lighting at your home if you want to keep it flying overnight.

 

 

#3: Retiring a Flag Via Burning

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We've all heard of the controversies surrounding flag burning, typically when it's done as a form of speech to protest either the U.S. in general, or something the government is currently involved in doing. However, what some people don't know is that when flags are torn, stained, ragged, or just too old to fly anymore, they're supposed to be burned. This is considered a respectful way of doing away with a flag that is no longer serviceable. To learn about other flag disposal methods or to get your flag correctly disposed of contact Accent Banner today.

 

For more fun flag trivia and flag facts checkout our recent flag trivia blog posts. If you're interested in getting a quote for flag disposal, flag repair, or for creating your own custom flag or banner contact us today to receive a free quote. A member of our team of flag and banner specialist will happily walk you through the process of making a custom flag for your home or business.

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Topics: flag facts, flag trivia, US Flag Facts

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.

 

Contact Us To Retire Your Flag Correctly

 

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

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