Since 2006, U.S. state legislatures have been introducing laws that require the purchase of American flags made 100% in the United States of America.

It’s believed that about $3.6 million dollars worth of American flags are imported every year, $3.3 million coming from China. On the federal level the Department of Defense and the federal government began requiring U.S. made flags to fly at all military and federal government buildings. These two entities alone will keep millions of dollars in the U.S. economy.

Kerry McCoy, owner and president of FlagandBanner.com, in their 40th year as a flag retailer and manufacturer said, “I am not usually in favor of government mandates but these new laws seem ethically appropriate.”

Individual states have been passing similar laws since 2006. Minnesota is the first state to have passed a stringent flag law; it went into effect January 1, 2008. Their law does not just require government or schools to purchase 100% U.S. made flags. Minnesota’s law bars anyone in the retail business of selling or offering to sell an American flag that was manufactured outside the U.S. This is the strictest flag law that has been passed, yet it was the first. The subsequent laws haven’t been quite as strict.

Most recently the Florida House passed the All-American Flag Act by a 110-2 vote on March 27, 2015. The law will go into effect January 1, 2016. It mimics the federal and military requirements of 100% made in USA if purchased by any entity using taxpayer funds.

When asked about the All-American Flag Act passed by Florida, the DOD and the federal government, Kerry McCoy stated, “It only makes sense that our country’s most iconic and representative symbol “The American Flag” should be made on our soil. I am not just saying that because my company makes U.S flags. Were I not in the flag business, I would still want my U.S. flag to be made here in the USA.”

Other states such as Arizona and Massachusetts require public schools and/or higher education institutions to display, in each classroom, an American flag that is at least two feet by three feet and made in the United States.

Tennessee requires all official U.S. and Tennessee state flags purchased under a state contract to be manufactured in the U.S.

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania all passed similar U.S. only flag bills, but the bill(s) were never passed into law despite unanimous votes.

Even students have gotten in on the act. The Student Government at Eau Gallie High School in Florida, voted unanimously to pass the All-American Flag Act for their school.

In 2013, students in high school teacher Matthew Susin’s American government class read that the United States spent an estimated $4 million on American flags made in China, and asked “why”?
A high school discussion turned into a resolution written by Susin and developed by different organizations in the community, the motion was unanimously passed by student government.

“I love seeing our youth do something like this,” McCoy expressed, “I realize we live in a global economy but, when possible it is nice to buy your U.S. flag from American workers. Undoubtedly these students have championed a great cause but in addition, they have learned due process. Students in other states could take notice.”

Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com is based in Little Rock, Ark., and has been in business since 1975. They have been selling flags, flagpoles, banners, pennants and home and garden décor online nationally since 1995 as FlagandBanner.com.

For more information, log on to FlagandBanner.com, become a fan on Facebook, or call one of their Flag Experts for answers to any and all questions about flags, banners, pennants and more at 1-800-445-0653.

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Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com will host nine fifth-grade students from Wilson Elementary School on Thursday, March 19 from 10 a.m. until Noon as part of the school’s Panthers On Site program. This innovative Partners in Education program gives students living in at risk environments first hand experience in real world workplace situations.

Kerry McCoy owner of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com said, “Hosting a group of students and letting them experience the workplace can leave a lasting impression on these young people.  It lets them know we are just everyday people doing everyday jobs and that this is attainable for all Americans.”

In it’s fortieth year in business, Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com feels lucky to have accomplished so much and wants other young people to know hard work pays off.  Small business is the back bone of America.

“Opening our doors to these children, is a great way for us to pay our knowledge forward. There is no better training ground for young people than to work in a small business where you can see how everybody makes a difference from the CEO to housekeeping and everyone in between.  It is real life team building and accountability.”

Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com is based in Little Rock, Ark., and has been in business since 1975. They have been selling flags, flagpoles, banners, pennants and home and garden décor online nationally since 1995 as FlagandBanner.com.

For more information, log on to FlagandBanner.com, become a fan on Facebook, or call one of their Flag Experts for answers to any and all questions about flags, banners, pennants and more at 1-800-445-0653.

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Photo by: Torin Halsey
LIVING HISTORY: Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima, will help mark the 70th anniversary after prodding from his grandchildren.

Reprinted by Permission

By Rowan Scarborough – The Washington Times – Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hershel “Woody” Williams is returning after 70 years to Iwo Jima, where a flamethrower saved him from Japanese bayonets and where he earned the Medal of Honor.

His grandchildren urged him for years to relive the war on-site at annual ceremonies to commemorate the Marine Corps‘ bloodiest battle — the conquering of an 8-square-mile Pacific dot of black volcanic sand and dirt where B-29s could stage for flights to mainland Japan.

“I finally was convinced by my grandchildren,” said Mr. Williams, 91. “My feelings [for] not going back were because we gave the island back to the Japanese. I felt we should have kept it as a memorial and a showplace for the Pacific, something a little bit like Hawaii, more historical even than Hawaii, and that we should not have given it back to the Japanese. So I just had no desire to go back. But they convinced me I’m getting old and crotchety and I need to change my attitude on it, so I did.”


PHOTOS: World War II Marines return to Iwo Jima on 70th anniversary of famed battle, flag raising


A return trip to the scene of one of World War II’s most famous and costly battles will not be easy for former Marines in their 80s and 90s.

But a group of about 45 American veterans of the battle of Iwo Jima, some needing financial help, plan to make the long journey March 21 for a 70th anniversary ceremony in the shadow of Mount Suribachi and the 1945 iconic flag-raising.

There will be no Japanese counterparts. The dwindling cadre of the initial 1,083 survivors, who first had fought in China and were older than the primarily teenage American force, have grown too frail to travel. But hundreds of bereaved Japanese family members will join Americans who also lost loved ones in the February-to-March 1945 struggle.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/18/world-war-ii-marines-return-to-iwo-jima-on-70th-an/#ixzz3SDS9T5th

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You can find the full story at the U.K.’s Independent but here is a small excerpt:

Graham Bartram’s best and worst flags

South Africa: ‘It has more colours than we would advise but it just works. It was known as the Rainbow Flag and South Africa is now known as the Rainbow Nation.’

Zambia: ‘All the important bits are on the right-hand side. The design won’t be seen when the flag hangs down. You have to move the eagle and the coloured stripes to the other side.’

Greenland: ‘It’s white over red, with a red over white circle in the middle. It’s very simple, it’s very striking and I think it’s just a great flag.’ (Though in our humble opinion the flag does nothing to make you recognize it as Greenland. Perhaps if it was green instead of red it might make more sense to people not from Greenland.)

Turkmenistan: ‘It’s a lovely idea: a stripe down one side which is carpet motif. But it’s incredibly complicated. To draw that is a nightmare. The level of detail is extraordinary, it is an actual carpet design. Drawing it took me two week.”

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Kerry McCoy, owner and president of Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com was the recipient of the Betsy Ross Award from the National Independent Flag Dealers Association (NIFDA). This award is the highest honor in the flag industry. The purpose of the award is to recognize an active member in good standing with NIFDA who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to become a successful flag dealer and bring service, visibility and positive attention to the flag industry.

Arkansas’  FlagandBanner.com is celebrating their 40th year in business throughout 2015. McCoy opened her flag business, Arkansas’ Flag and Banner, in 1975, and during 40 years the operation has progressed from door-to-door sales to the Internet. In 2000, the company began marketing as simply FlagandBanner.com.

FlagandBanner.com started as a one-woman company with McCoy handling all aspects of the business. That small flag business has grown to become a multi-million dollar success located in downtown Little Rock at 800 West 9th Street and now employs a staff of 25.

FlagandBanner.com’s other awards include:

  • Blue Chip Enterprise Award from Connecticut Mutual
  • (2 time) Arkansas Business of the Year Finalist
  • ADDY Bronze Award
  • ADDY Outstanding Achievement Award
  • 1st Place Commercial Sign Design Contest
  • 3rd Place International Sign Contest
  • Multiple honors from military units

Learn more about FlagandBanner.com at http://presscenter.flagandbanner.com

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Learn more about the current flag at http://www.flagandbanner.com/Products/FBPP0000010401.asp

Greg Noone, United Kingdom

23-year old Freelance Journalist, with a deep interest in anything. https://gregmnoone.wordpress.com/

The Prime Minister of Fiji announced his government’s intention to hold a national competition in October to design a replacement for its current flag. Currently a blue pennant featuring the country’s coat of arms and a Union Jack in its canton, Mr. Bainimarama spoke of the need to a more representative flag, adding that “[t]he new flag should reflect Fiji’s position in the world today as a modern and truly independent nation state.” The Prime Minister, elected last year in the first free and fair elections in Fiji since he overthrow the last civilian government in a military coup d’etat in 2006, has made similar announcements in the past proposing a wholesale redesign of the country’s national flag and currency.
If Fiji does indeed vote for a new national flag, it will find itself transitioning out from a community of nations that, for the most part, happened to find themselves colonised by the UK after a coincidental visit by renowned explorer and Scurvy-obsessive Captain James Cook. Only Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific archipelago of Tuvalu remain as independent nations that still retain the Union Jack (knwon officially as the ‘Union Flag’) within their national standards. Although Mr. Cook is not recorded to have visited the wind-swept prairies of the North American interior, several Canadian provinces, including Manitoba, Ontario, and British Columbia, also belong to the club with extant or modified versions of the Union Jack in their own flags. Most unusual of all perhaps – although, considering the famous story of the dear Captain’s unfortunate demise, perhaps not - Hawaii also continues to incorporate the British flag, like Fiji, within its state flag’s canton. Whether this is by way of an extended apology remains unconfirmed.
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Jeremiah Miller Distinguished Service Award

Waseca’s Jeremiah Miller, center, is seen at Four Seasons Athletics in 2013 next to his wife, Jaala, shortly after they purchased the business. Miller won this year’s Distinguished Service Award. (County News file photo)

Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 7:45 am | Updated: 2:41 pm, Mon Feb 2, 2015.

By ADAM J.S. HOLT aholt@wasecacountynews.com

Jeremiah Miller speaks with enthusiasm. Every time he calls something “awesome,” it’s clear he means it. Chat with Miller for a few minutes, and it’s easy to see that finding the energy to stay involved in the community isn’t a problem for the native Wasecan.

And Miller stays quite involved.

The 37-year-old also helped get Waseca’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program off the ground, is a member of the Waseca Hockey Association and co-owns Four Seasons Athletics in town — those are just a few snippets from his résumé. Oh, and he’s got a wife and four kids, too.

That’s all helped earn him this year’s Waseca Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award. The recipient is an individual between 18 and 40 years old and a resident of Waseca. This individual has “given themselves” through civic involvement and community development, according to the Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce website.

The winner is chosen in part by former recipients, and last year’s winner, Larry Johnson, said it’s more common than not to see Miller out and about.

“He’s a supporter in the community,” Johnson said. “If you got to a band festival, a basketball game, a football game, a baseball game, you’re going to see either Jeremiah or his wife there, as spectators or watching kids there or doing something with Four Seasons. They’re at darn near every event.”

Miller, a 20-year veteran of the Army National Guard, has a countdown on his phone reminding him he’s got just less than five years of duty left. He hopes he isn’t deployed again, having already served in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the meantime, he keeps plenty busy, whether it’s serving as Pack 86’s Cubmaster, starting a term on the Chamber of Commerce board or attending concerts or games.

“Now that I have kids, my kids are super active,” Miller said. “(It) kind of was like, I’ve got to get out here and support this stuff, because my kids are amazing, so everybody elses’ kids are amazing. So let’s show this support. It’s been awesome. We’re never home. Which is great, always getting out and doing things and seeing people. I love it.”

Having four kids in a variety of activities helps keep the family busy. But don’t think that the Millers are only out at events out of obligation.

“Even if they weren’t in so many, we just love being out in the community with everyone that lives in our community, and enjoying our friendships that have grown,” said wife Jaala Miller. “Especially since after buying Four Seasons, all the great people that we’ve met and all the positivity that has happened in the last year and a half, over year and half now since we’ve owned the store.”

Jeremiah and Jaala purchased Four Seasons in August of 2013, a decision that’s proved to be very rewarding.

“It’s been awesome,” Jeremiah Miller said. “I tell people all the time, one of the greatest things [is] to go to a sporting event, is to see people wearing the apparel you created. Seeing that team or that group of school kids — TEAM Academy had a concert, and all the kids wore their TEAM Academy shirts, and we made those.”

In addition to all that, Miller’s starting a non-profit organization called Free Flags for Veterans, with a goal of providing two free flags for military veterans a year. Supporting veterans and their families is important to Miller, who initially only joined the military because a good friend from high school did. Now he’s a Human Resources Chief Warrant Officer 2 for the 147th Human Resources Company.

The difficult part of being so involved? Balancing everything. Miller works as a licensed sales associate at Andrew R. Miller Agency for American Family Insurance in addition to his other responsibilities. He’s got a lot going on.

“You find ways to juggle things,” Johnson said. “But it does take a toll on your family. You can’t do the things he’s doing without a great support structure. And he’s got a really good support structure. His wife is fantastic, he’s got some great kids. I think that really props a guy up — man or woman — to do whatever it is they want to do that they’re passionate about.”

For Miller, keeping the whole family involved is a big key. Letting his kids know they’re welcome in all activities helps, whether it’s with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon or just a workout at the gym.

There’s still a lot ahead for Miller, who’s continuing to raise money for Free Flags for Veterans. That, in addition to everything else he does, should keep him and his family busy.

For a little bit though, Miller can enjoy being recognized for his efforts to stay involved in the community.

“I don’t even know how to take it,” Miller said. “It’s pretty awesome.”

Free Flags for Veterans an important project for Miller

A few years ago, Jeremiah Miller was out for a run when he started noticing flags.

Not all the American flags he saw flying were in the best condition. That got him thinking about how pricy flags can be. And about how that might make it difficult for military veterans to be able to fly flags in front of their homes. It didn’t sit well with him.

“It’s not right that veterans have to pay such high prices for something they fought and died for,” Miller said.

So he’s trying to change that. Miller is starting a non-profit organization called Free Flags for Veterans, with the goal of supplying American flags for military vets, free of charge. As a member of the Army National Guard who served deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the matter holds special importance for him.

When Miller initially came up with the idea, he started a Facebook page and got support from people as far away as Kentucky and Arizona. That made him realize he was on the right track, but had to scale things back and start locally to realistically get it off the ground.

Free Flags for Veterans started as an idea, but has gained traction recently. Miller said he’s raised $625 since October and his putting on an “All Gave Some, Some Gave All” 4K run/walk around Loon Lake on Feb. 15, with funds going to the non-profit.

“I think just him being able to start getting that part of it, and actually put his thoughts into plan and working for it, as a family, we’re right next to him and stand behind him 100 percent,” his wife, Jaala Miller, said.

As with everything else Jeremiah does, it’s become a family affair. His four kids are now acutely aware of the condition of every flag they see.

“I’ve actually got my kids now looking at flags flying around town,” he said. “They’re like ‘Dad, look at that flag! It’s shredded.’ Or, ‘Dad, did you see that flag, it’s wrapped around a pole.’”

Miller has the paperwork set and people can donate on an online site called Piggybackr. He wants to eventually get a wholesale account to get the flags, but for now is considering working with someone local to get an initial order done, just to start distributing some flags. In time, Miller wants to provide poles and lights, too.

It’s just one thing Miller thought he could do to support his fellow veterans.

“We’ve all shared the same thing, and they’re going through a lot of the same things,” he said. “Just helping any veterans is awesome, so that is majorly important. And their families, you can’t forget their families.”

More information on the organization can be found at its Facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/freeflagsforvets.

Story originally published at: http://www.southernminn.com/waseca_county_news/news/article_c2001516-e497-59a9-b3ec-d76cca21f1a3.html

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See video – click here!

FREEPORT (WGME) — Even with a blizzard bearing down on Maine, the Freeport Flag Ladies showed how dedicated they are to their mission.

The ladies were out as usual Tuesday morning on Main Street in Freeport, waving their flags and honoring those who serve our country.

They’ve been doing this every Tuesday since September 11th, and clearly, nothing will stop them. They say they didn’t stay out as long as usual Tuesday morning, but who can hold that against them.

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The big game is this weekend. Here is a chart from the National Retail Foundation that surveyed consumers age 18 and up about the Super Bowl Commercials.

Opinions On Super Bowl TV Commercials

Information
Among those who plan to watch the Super Bowl answered the questions below.
Charts from the NRF Foundation’s Retail Insight Center. To access this data and more research please visit the Retail Insight Center.

You can find this chart and more about Consumers and the Super Bowl here: http://research.nrffoundation.com/Default.aspx?pg=56#.VMfZEC6jt52

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