Lower flags for Memorial Day to half staff until noon only

Each year we lower flags for Memorial Day but often people forget that it is only a half staff for half the day. Learn more about our nations most recognizable symbol on this Memorial Day weekend. 

lower flag to half staff

Monday, May 25, 2015 is Memorial Day and a half staff day. This national holiday is designated as a half staff day, however it is different than other half staff days as it has two statuses.

  1. At sunrise, the flag – if not already on a staff lit overnight- should be raised briskly and then lowered to half staff ceremoniously.
  2. The flag on Memorial Day should only remain at half staff until noon, at which time the flag should then be raised to full staff until sunset.

As we celebrate this national holiday remember the true reason for its creation was to honor our men and women lost during war time and to honor those who still serve or have served our nation.


Fearless1In wrapping up a week long Armed Forces celebration, Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com will host a special book signing in the showroom at 800 West Ninth Street, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. Armed Forces Day is Friday, May 15, so please remember to fly your flags at half staff on that day. The book by Eric Blehm entitled Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown tells the heart-wrenching story of Arkansas-native Adam Brown who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.

Members of the Fearless Rock Adam Brown Underwater Memorial dive team will be signing books and sharing dive stories and information about the memorial dive site. These volunteers regularly maintain and improve the memorial at Blakely Dam on Lake Ouachita, which flies underwater flags supplied by Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com as seen in the latest issue of “Brave Magazine.”

Everyone is invited to drop in the entire week to enjoy special savings in the store and pick up advance copies of “Fearless” to ensure you have a book to be signed on Saturday. Currently there are both hard back and soft cover versions of the books available in store.

Visitors may also enter to win a flagpole kit complete with Old Glory, proudly made in the U.S.A. Winners will be announced no later than Monday, May 18.

Armed forces day was created in 1949. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under a single Department of Defense. Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com would like to thank all of our enlisted men and women as well as our military veterans for answering the call to serve our nation. We look forward to serving you this week!

For more information about the book signing or about Arkansas’ FlagandBanner.com products or services call 501.375.7633 or visit them online at http://www.flagandbanner.com.


America’s Best and Worst State Flags Story Comes up Short on Facts

The star spangled banner - for story about Americas best and worst state flagsCNN made a goof in the story by Ryan Bergeron entitled “Sorry, Montana! America’s best and worst state flags” when describing the U.S. flag that flew over Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812. He said the only difference between the flag then and now was the number of stars.

Here is the direct quote:

“The only difference in the flag that flew in 1814 and the one we see now is the number of stars. That, coincidentally, is the only critique that Ted Kaye has about the current U.S. flag.”

THAT is incorrect information. That particular flag also had 15 stripes, not 13 as we have now. At that time the nation was adding both a stripe and a star for each new state but once it got to 15 they decided after that the flag would look rather ridiculous if they kept adding more stripes. So they returned to the original 13 stripes for the 13 original colonies and only added a star each time a new state entered the union.

The story about the best and worst state flags is a good story. It just needs to have a correction made, though we couldn’t find any way to send a comment to let CNN know, that their facts were wrong.

You can read the full story at the CNN Website: Sorry, Montana! America’s best and worst state flags


The American flag is often used in symbolic protests

Students at Valdosta State walk on the American flagThe first four months of 2015 have seen protests hearkening back to the protests of the 60s. One of the symbols used most often is the American flag (generally because it is such a powerful and easily recognizable symbol of our nation.) Students at some colleges have tried to ban the flag (University of California Irvine) or walk on the flag (Valdosta State) in protest. Other demonstrators at Valdosta State showed up to support the flag, a former Air Force staff sergeant was detained for trying to steal the flag from the protesters to protect it. These events made national news.

Desecrating an American flag is an officially protected part of free speech since 1989. The U.S. Supreme Court declared that the First Amendment protects symbolic political expression, which includes burning (and other damage such as walking on or cutting up) the American flag. So if you agree or disagree with the flags used for protest in ways which damage them, remember that it is a protected right under our Constitution.

Protesters against walking on American flag at Valdosta StateSo technically in the Valdosta State case, the woman who stole the flag was in the wrong by the letter of the law, though she was released and not charged with theft.

Now Congress might get involved. Last week, U.S. Representative Sean Duffy, a Wisconsin Republican, announced a bill called the No Federal Funds Without the American Flag Act. The bill would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to prohibit an institution from receiving federal funds if it bans the display of a flag on campus. In a statement, Duffy said the proposed legislation was inspired by the incident at UC Irvine.

The love or hate of Old Glory seems to wax and wane in our country from time-to-time but that is one of the greatest things about being an American. You have the absolute right to burn the flag (or walk on it) in protest. In other nations, you might end up fined, incarcerated or much worse. And that is what makes the American flag such a potent symbol of freedom-the freedom to honor or to use it in protest by destroying it. In the end, both are part of those “unalienable rights” our forefather’s endowed us with.


Man seeks donations to make Flag of Humanity a reality

Flag of humanity

The Flag of Humanity on display in Germany. The flag is a design showing adult hands giving the world into the care of a child’s hands. 

A Western North Carolina man is launching a fundraising campaign to create a flag that would celebrate the commonality of being human. The flag of humanity project is unique and seeking others to help it come to fruition.

Bruce Benson, of Weaverville, was hiking on the Appalachian Trail with his son seven years ago when he says he had an epiphany.

“I got to thinking about what kind of a world he would inherit,” said Benson in a statement to the media. “Never in the history of our civilization has it been so imperative that we celebrate our commonalities instead of fighting over our differences.”

The evening of their hike, Benson drew a template for a flag in his journal. The flag of humanity was sketched out and he later took his drawing to a design team in Asheville. The final product shows a set of adult hands handing off the earth to a pair of child hands. “There is an inherent responsibility in the image,” Benson said.

“Flags are powerful things,” he added. “Every nation on earth has a flag. Children in many countries pledge allegiance to their flag everyday in school. The image of the American flag being raised at Iwo Jima is a powerful, passionate image that has lasted for decades. When humankind went to the moon a flag was planted.” The flag of humanity ideal is giving our children the world. Every parent wishes to do that.

The initial goal for the campaign is to get one flag into at least one school in every country on earth. The ultimate goal is for it to be displayed in every school throughout the world. “A lofty goal, I know,” said Benson. “But if not now, when? If not us, who?”

For more information about the project, visit www.theflagofhumanity.org. To donate to the campaign, go to www.gofundme.com/mrh7d8.

Story from the Citizen-Times of North Carolina 


The Women of World War II – the real “Rosies”

Women of World War II work to help the war effort

Recently Erin Kelly, posted a great piece about the women of World War II on the All That is Interesting blog. The iconic “Rosie” nickname for the female workforce behind the World War II industrial war machine in America is known by every American. Between 1942 and the end of the war, more than six million women went to work. These ladies were doing their patriotic best to fill jobs while the nation was short-handed with so many of the men away at war.

The retrospective is a collection of color images sourced from the Library of Congress, Wikipedia, Flickr and other online sources showing the diverse jobs the women were employed in.

The fashions and hair styles among the women is also interesting for people who enjoy vintage fashions.
Check out these photos at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/women-ww2


The All American Flag Act soon to be law in Florida

All American Flag ActIn Florida, American flags will have to be “Made in the U.S.A.” according to the new All American Flag Act that Gov. Rick Scott has said he will sign mandating that all Florida city, county and state government agencies fly American flags that were made in the United States.

The Senate bill was passed Wednesday on a 38-1 vote after the House passed it last month.

Citizens and companies can still buy foreign-made American flags for home or business use. But starting Jan. 1, 2016, government agencies have to buy American, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

“When the state, a county or a municipality purchases a United States flag, or a state flag for public use, the flag must be made in the United States from articles, materials or supplies, all of which are grown, produced and manufactured in the United States,” the All American Flag Act reads.

Democratic state Sen. Jeff Clemens used debate on the bill to jab at the House, which ended its session three days early on Tuesday, leaving hundreds of bills unfinished.

“American workers work hard,” Clemens said, advocating for the government to use flags made by U.S. taxpayers. “They would never quit and go home early.”



New American Citizens Take Vows

New American Citizen takes vows in naturalization ceremony.

A young Sara Tun waves a flag given to her mother, Mimi Tun, after she was naturalized as a new American citizen Thursday. The Tun family lives in Knoxville, but are originally from Myanmar.

by Sarah R. Gregory – Greenville Sun Newspaper of Greenville, TN

More than 70 people from dozens of countries around the world formed a common bond Thursday when they were naturalized as American citizens.

Two naturalization proceedings were held Thursday at the James H. Quillen U.S. District Courthouse. Marcia Phillips Parsons, chief U.S. Bankruptcy judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, presided.

“Let me be the first to address you as ‘my fellow Americans’ and to welcome you,” Parsons told the 41 new American citizens, originally from 21 different countries, gathered for the morning session.

Another 30 citizens from 24 different countries were naturalized in the afternoon. Read More…


Do you agree on which are the best and worst flags?

Best and Worst Flags

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

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.”


Top flag industry honor goes to 40 year veteran of flag business

McCoy wins top flag industry honor. The Betsy Ross Award.

McCoy wins top flag industry honor. The Betsy Ross Award.

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 a top flag industry honor. 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