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Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Flag designs exhibit a number of regularities, arising from a variety of practical concerns, historical circumstances, and cultural prescriptions that have shaped and continue to shape their evolution.

First among the practical issues confronting a vexillographer is the necessity for the design to be manufactured (and often mass produced) into or onto a piece of cloth, which will subsequently be hoisted aloft in the outdoors to represent an organization, individual or idea. In this respect, flag design departs considerably from logo design: logos are predominantly still images to be read off a page, screen, or billboard, while flags are alternately draped and fluttering images to be seen from a variety of distances and angles. The prevalence of simple bold colors and shapes in flag design attests to these practical issues.

Flag design is also a historical process in which current designs often refer back to previous designs, effectively quoting, elaborating, or commenting upon them. Families of current flags may derive from a few common ancestors as in the cases of the Pan-African colours, the Pan-Arab colors, the Pan-Slavic colours, the Nordic Cross and the Ottoman flag.

Certain cultures prescribe the proper design of flags, through heraldic or other authoritative systems. Prescription may be based on religious principles: see, for example, Islamic flags. As a discipline, vexillology is beginning to promote design principles based on a body of research on flag history and design. Prominent examples are Ted Kaye's five Good Flag, Bad Flag principles published and endorsed by the North American Vexillological Association:

1. Keep It Simple: the flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
2. Use Meaningful Symbolism: the flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
3. Use 2–3 Basic Colors: limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
4. No Lettering or Seals: never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
5. Be Distinctive or Be Related: avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.


by: Flags Mart
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Displaying the Flag Outdoors

When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.
When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.
When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.
When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

Raising and Lowering the Flag

The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag Indoors

When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.
The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.
When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.
When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right, and to the observer's left.

Parading and Saluting the Flag

When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The Salute

To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem

The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

The Flag in Mourning

To place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.
The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.
When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.


by: Flags Mart
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
January
1. New Year's Day
15 Martin Luther King's Birthday *
20 Inauguration Day (Once every four years)
(3rd Mon.) Lee's Birthday (AL., MS., VA.)

February
(1st Mon.) Lincoln s Birthday (11 .DE.)
12. Lincoln's Birthday
(3rd Mon.) Washington's Birthday*

March
17. St. Patrick s Day
(Last Mon.) Seward's Day (AK.)

April
(3d Mon.) Patrick's Day (MA )
(4th Mon.) Confederate Memorial Day (AL., MS.)
(Last Fri.) Arbor Day (UT.)

May
1. Loyalty Day
(1st Thursday) National Day of Prayer,
(2nd Sun.) Mother's Day
(3rd Sat.) Armed Forces Day\
15 Armed Forces Day
(Last Mon.) Memorial Day' (Half-staff until noon)

June
(1st Mon.) Jefferson Davis Birthday
June 14th Flag Day
(3rd Sun) Father s Day

July
4. Independence Day*

August
4. Coast Guard Day - August 4
(2nd Mon.) Victory Day (Rl.)
(3rd Fri.) Admission Day (Hl.)

September
(1st Mon.) Labor Day
17. Constitution Day' Citizen Day
18. Patriot Day (911 Attack)

October
(2nd Mon.) Columbus Day,* Farmer's Day (Fl .)
(3rd Mon.) Alaska Day (AK.)
13 Navy Day

November

(1st Tues.) Election Day
10. Marine Corps Day
11. Veterans Day
(4th Thurs) Thanksgiving Day*

December
21. Forefather s Day
25. Christmas Day*

*Denotes Federal Holiday


FLAG TIMELINE

1776
January 1 -- The Grand Union flag is displayed on Prospect Hill. It has 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).
1776
May -- Betsy Ross reports that she sewed the first American flag
1777
June 14 -- Continental Congress adopts the following: Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation (stars represent Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island).
1787
Captain Robert Gray carries the flag around the world on his sailing vessel (around the tip of South America, to China, and beyond). He discovered a great river and named it after his boat The Columbia. His discovery was the basis of America's claim to the Oregon Territory.
1795
Flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes (Vermont, Kentucky)
1814
September 14 -- Francis Scott Key writes "The Star-Spangled Banner." It officially becomes the national anthem in 1931.
1818
Flag with 20 stars and 13 stripes (it remains at 13 hereafter) (Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi)
1819
Flag with 21 stars (Illinois)
1820
Flag with 23 stars (Alabama, Maine)
first flag on Pikes Peak
1822
Flag with 24 stars (Missouri)
1836
Flag with 25 stars (Arkansas)
1837
Flag with 26 stars (Michigan)
1845
Flag with 27 stars (Florida)
1846
Flag with 28 stars (Texas)
1847
Flag with 29 stars (Iowa)
1848
Flag with 30 stars (Wisconsin)
1851
Flag with 31 stars (California)
1858
Flag with 32 stars (Minnesota)
1859
Flag with 33 stars (Oregon)
1861
Flag with 34 stars; (Kansas)
first Confederate Flag (Stars and Bars) adopted in Montgomery, Alabama
1863
Flag with 35 stars (West Virginia)
1865
Flag with 36 stars (Nevada)
1867
Flag with 37 stars (Nebraska)
1869
First flag on a postage stamp
1877
Flag with 38 stars (Colorado)
1890
Flag with 43 stars (North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho)
1891
Flag with 44 stars (Wyoming)
1892
"Pledge of Allegiance" first published in a magazine called "The Youth's Companion," written by Francis Bellamy. The words, "under God" were added on June 14, 1954.
1896
Flag with 45 stars (Utah)
1908
Flag with 46 stars (Oklahoma)
1909
Robert Peary places the flag his wife sewed atop the North Pole. He left pieces of another flag along the way. He was never censored for his action.
1912
Flag with 48 stars (New Mexico, Arizona)
1945
The flag that flew over Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, is flown over the White House on August 14, when the Japanese accepted surrender terms.
1949
August 3 -- Truman signs bill requesting the President call for Flag Day (June 14) observance each year by proclamation.
1959
Flag with 49 stars (Alaska)
1960
Flag with 50 stars (Hawaii)
1963
Flag placed on top of Mount Everest by Barry Bishop.
1969
July 20 -- The American flag is placed on the moon by Neil Armstrong
1995
December 12 -- The Flag Desecration Constitutional Amendment is narrowly defeated in the Senate. The Amendment to the Constitution would make burning the flag a punishable crime.


by: Flags Mart
Monday, April 5, 2010
The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

• The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
• The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
• The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
• The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
• The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
• The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.


by: Flags Mart
Monday, March 29, 2010
Flag, piece of cloth, usually bunting or similar light material, plain, colored, or bearing a device, varying in size and shape, but often oblong or square, used as an ensign, standard, or signal or for display and decorative purposes, and generally attached at one edge to a staff or to a halyard by which it may be hoisted.

The historical origin of flags dates back to around 1000 BC, when the Egyptians used primitive versions of flags - some were even made out of wood or metal. Flags were originally used for the purpose of identification or signal to others. Flags have been important symbols on land as well as on sea. Ships started using flags at sea to signal to each other and to harbors. The military made use of flags to rally its troops. In military times, capturing an enemy's flag was considered an honorable seizure. Flags have also been used historically, many with negative consequences. For example, the Nazis used a flag decorated with a swastika. Although flags are still used for many of those reasons today, flags have also come to be used for much more.

In fact, the numerous uses for flags and their examination have become so popular that the practice of 'vexillologya', which means the academic study of flags, has been developed.


by: Flags Mart
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
BADGE : An emblem or other device displayed on a flag, generally in the fly.

BANNER : A rectangular flag used by a king, prince, duke, or other noble. The coat of arms of the owner covers the banner's entire surface. The term is also loosely applied to a national flag (e.g., the "star-Spangled Banner") and is today synonymous with flag.

BOW : The forward section of a ship.

CANTON : The four quarters of a flag are named cantons, especially the upper quarter of the hoist, that is, the upper left hand corner of the flag; the canton is sometimes also called the union

COAT OF ARMS: The armorial and/or other heraldic badges of an owner displayed on a cloak or shield.

COLORS: The national and regimental or armorial flags carried by dismounted organizations (such as a color guard). Hence, the national color for Army and Marine Corps regiments is the U.S. flag. The term also applies to the national ensign flown aboard a naval vessel.

ENSIGN: A special flag based on a country's national flag and used exclusively on naval ships or merchant ships. The civil ensign is the merchant marine's flag. The U.S. flag serves as a national flag, naval ensign, and civil ensign. Great Britain, on the other hand, has a white ensign for naval ships, a red ensign for merchant ships, and a blue ensign for merchant ships commanded by an officer in the Naval Reserve. Great Britain also has an ensign for the Royal Air Force and one for airports.

ESTOILE: A six-pointed, usually wavy, star.

FIELD: The ground of each division of a flag.

FLY: The edge of a flag farthest from the staff.

FOREMAST: The mast nearest the bow of a sailing ship.

GARRISON: A military installation, such as a fort. Also, the troops stationed there.

GARRISON FLAG: A large U.S. flag flown at forts. During the war of 1812, garrison flags were 20 feet by 40 feet. The Star-Spangled Banner measured 30 feet by 42 feet.

HALYARD: The rope by which a flag is raised on a flagpole.

HOIST: (N.) The edge of a flag nearest the staff. (vb.) To raise a flag.

HOIST ROPE: The rope on which a flag is flown on a flagpole.

JACK: A flag flown at the bow of warships when anchored. Great Britain's jack - the British Union Jack - combines the Crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick on a blue field. The U.S. Union Jack carries 50 white stars on a blue field (the canton of the Naval Ensign). According to U.S. Navy regulations, the U.S. Union Jack should be the same size as the canton of the Naval Ensign flown at the ships stern.

MAINMAST: The principal mast of a sailing ship.

MULLET: A five-pointed star, representative of a knight's spur.

SALTINE: An x-shaped cross.

SHIP OF THE LINE: in the days of sail, a naval ship that fought in the line of battle.

STAFF: A small pole from which a flag is flown.

STANDARD: A flag which is colored according to the owner's livery and displays the owner's badge or badges instead of his arms. The term "national standard" is used to describe the national and regimental flags carried by mounted or motorized organizations.

STERN: The rear of a ship.

STORM FLAG: The U.S. flag which is flown at military installations during inclement weather. It is smaller than the U.S. flag that is usually flown at the installation.

TASK FORCE: A group of naval ships such as a squadron, several squadrons, or a fleet with a specific military objective to accomplish.

UNION : A flag or device of a flag symbolizing the union of countries or states. Also, the canton of (1) the U.S. flag, (2) British ensigns, and (3) British Commonwealth flags that are based on the British ensigns.


by: Flags Mart
Thursday, July 31, 2008


1. When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.



2. The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right [that means the viewer's left --Webmaster], and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.



3. The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By "half-staff" is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the President of the United States.



4. When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the right of the flag of the United States (the viewer's left). When the flag is half-masted, both flags are half-masted, with the US flag at the mid-point and the other flag below.



5. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.



6. When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.



7. When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.



8. When the flag is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes or drapings are desired, bunting of blue, white and red should be used, but never the flag.



9. That the flag, when carried in a procession with another flag, or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.



10. The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.



11. When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace. The order of precedence for flags generally is National flags (US first, then others in alphabetical order in English), State (host state first, then others in the order of admission) and territories (Washington DC, Puerto Rico, etc.), Military (in order of establishment: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard), then other.



12. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium on or off a podium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker (to the right of the audience). Please note that the old guidelines differed from this updated and simplified one.



13. When the flag is displayed on a car, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.



14. When hung in a window, place the blue union in the upper left, as viewed from the street.





by: Flags Mart
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