U.S. Flag Facts They Never Taught You in School

Posted by Derrek Coss on Jul 20, 2017 8:09:00 AM

Did you know that the current 50 star U.S. Flagdesign 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 U.S. flag has already designed a 51 star flag so if we ever choose to add another state we’ll be good to go! Learn more flag facts below!

 CTA- Flag Life

(Short on Time? Click Here to Download our FREE Guide to Maintaining Your U.S. Flag!) 

 

Alt colors for original U.S. flag design

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.

 

flag facts

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.

Flag Care

 

Topics: american history, American flag, flag facts, U.S. flag, flag history

How to Display a US Flag at Night

Posted by Alan J. Duro on Sep 22, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Showing your pride of the stars and stripes is an ideal way to ensure your patriotism shines bright at work or home. However, no matter how visible your US flag may be in the daylight hours, it can be trying to keep your flag visible once the sun goes down. It is a matter of etiquette to either take your flag down at night or keep it illuminated. There are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when you display a US Flag at night.

 

Lighting a Basic Flag Pole

If you have an average flag pole, you really don't have to make an expensive investment to keep it illuminated after dark. Go with an inexpensive light bulb base that you can simply plug right into an extension cord. Many of the home center stores carry lights designed to work outdoors and included a spike for easily installation in your lawn or mulch bed. When you set up the light, simply aim the bulb upward so that it is shining in the direction of the flag. This technique is cheap and it works just fine for a flag pole that stands ten to fifteen feet.

 

Illuminating a High-Standing Flag at Night     Display a US Flag at Night

Having a tall-standing flag pole on your property allows for viewers to witness your admiration of Old Glory from afar, but keeping the flag illuminated at night will require a little more effort. It is a good idea to invest in a simple electric spotlight that has a reflective backing to direct the aim of the light directly upward to the flag. You can also use a basic light fixture fitted with a high-wattage halogen bulb, such as a 150-watt type, and plug the fixture into a timer so it kicks off and on as needed.

A relatively newer option, and one that available through Accent Banner is a solar light. These fixtures mount directly to the flag pole and do not require any wiring. Some even included a small back up battery just in case you have a few cloudy days in a row.

 

Keeping Your House-Mounted Flag Visible After Dark

A flag mounted at an angle from your home is fairly simple to keep visible at night if it is near your porch or patio where you will probably already have a light fixture anyway. If your house-mounted flag is not within the vicinity of your outdoor lighting, you can always have an electrician add an extra fixture that is wired right into your existing switch. 

For more flag information and resources checkout our other blog posts on Flag care at www.accentbanner.com.

 

FREE D.I.Y. Guide to Inground Flag Pole Installation Download Now

Topics: U.S. flag, Flag Display, Displaying a Flag

USA Flag Anatomy and Vexillology Terms

Posted by Derrek Coss on Jan 22, 2016 11:30:00 AM

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.

 gonfalonsFlag Anatomy and Vexillology Terms

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. To learn more about gonfalons check out our gonfalon page. 

 

Gonfalon - an elaborate flag, usually of intricate design hung from a crossbar. Gonfalons can be used for a variety of reasons. Often graduation gonfalons are used at high school or college graduations. 

 

 

 

 

Here are some additional flag terms you may find interesting:

 flag terms or parts of a flag

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.

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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.

Topics: American flag, flag facts, flag terms, flag repair, U.S. flag, flag history, USA flag, flag parts, flag anatomy, gonfalon, vexillology

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