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 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

Flag Trivia & History: What The Colors of A Flag Represent

Posted by Accent Banner on Jun 29, 2017 9:33:00 AM

The colors of a flag are chosen for reasons far beyond their aesthetic value. The colors and graphic elements of a flag are chosen carefully and symbolize a countries identity, history, or ideals. Below is a look at the symbolism behind some of the more popular flag colors:

Red

The color red can symbolize a struggle for independence. In a broader sense, red is indicative of bravery and courage, both of which a nation needs in order to fight for its independence. Seven of the stripes on the American flag are red, and while the stripes represent the colonies, the selected color harkens back to the fight for freedom from the British. 

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White

While a flag that is all white means 'surrender,' white is used in conjunction with other colors on a flag to indicate purity, peace, or honesty. Countries in colder climates may also use it to represent the snow that is a part of their country's environment. The white on Finland's flag is used in this manner, as parts of the Scandinavian nation are permanently covered in snow for at least half the year. 

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Blue

Blue on a flag has a number of meanings, including perseverance, strength, good fortune, and justice. It can also have environmental significance, demonstrating a country's ties to the ocean or the sky. For example, the United States flag has a blue field that represents justice and vigilance, but on Argentina's flag the light blue stripes are meant to represent the beautifully clear skies of the South American nation.

 

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Green

Easily recognizable as the color of most plants, green often represents growth and symbolizes agriculture on national flags. The flag of Bangladesh features green as its main color in order to demonstrate the country's ties to natural growth and beautiful greenery. The color green can also be a symbol of joy and hope, as it is on the Italian flag. The Italian flags' three stripes represent hope, faith, and charity respectively. 

 

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Yellow

Yellow, once associated with an area under quarantine is now commonly associated with wealth given its similarity to gold, symbolizes generosity when it is used on a nation's flag. The Spanish flag uses the color yellow in this way. As the color of the sun, yellow is also used to represent energy and a joyful spirit. In fact, Argentina's flag even features a yellow sun in the center of the flag. Since 2008, Myanmar's flag has featured a yellow band that symbolizes "unity between all ethnic groups."

 

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Black

A common use of the color black is to represent the ethnic heritage of a nation on its flag. Black can also be used as a symbol of perseverance. Like an all white flag, an all black flag has its own specific meaning. Unlike an all white flag, an all black flag is used to send an aggressive message generally indicating war. Black is also a traditional color used by Arab and African nations. On Sudan's flag, the black stripe merely represents the country itself, as the name Sudan comes from the Arabic word meaning black.

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A country's flag is important for its national identity, and no part of a flag is taken lightly when a design is being created. While colors and their associated symbolism are generally applicable to flags, many countries go a step further and assign their own symbolism to certain colors based on the country's history and/or how that color may have been used in the past. If you start to dig deeper into how different countries designed their flags, even starting with basic concepts like color, you can learn a lot about history, geography, and our entire world.

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Topics: flag trivia

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