September 11th is Patriot Day

Patriot Day is approaching quickly, marking the 9th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Patriot Day, which was signed into effect by George W. Bush on October 25, 2001, is a day to remember the 2,996 brave men and women who lost their lives early on the morning of 9/11. On this day, we are asked to fly our flags at half-staff and to honor a moment of silence at 8:46 AM, which is the time the first plane (American Airlines Flight 11) hit the World Trade Center.

To think that it has already been 9 years since the attack is crazy to me. I continually wonder if I will always feel like it just happened. Many things have changed since that day, some good, some bad, but in the end, America has stood firm. We dusted ourselves off, people rushed to NY to help out and we all raised our flags and our heads. On Patriot Day, please remember how far we have come and why we have been able to get here – because of the brave men and women who have dedicated and in some cases, given their lives so we can enjoy our freedoms.

One of the most memorable moments I have from 2001 is watching the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees game the following week. Pastor Phyllis Arnold, a woman from Chicago sang the national anthem and God bless America before the game which was actually played in Chicago despite New York being the home team because they could not play at their stadium. To see all of the New York support signs from the Chicago fans and both teams coming together as Americans made me realize we were going to be okay. Please feel free to reply with some of your 9/11 memories that stand out to you.

This Patriot Day, we give thanks to all of our soldiers, past and present. Flag Expressions gives thanks to our many heroes that were lost that fateful day and we will never forget your dedication to our great country. Again, please remember to fly your flags at half-staff and observe a moment of silence at 8:46 AM. Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing your 9/11 stories.

The Texas State Flag History

Texas Flag

The State Flag of Texas

The state flag of Texas is probably the most popular and most sold state flag of the United States of America. Known as the “Lone Star Flag”, it was adopted on January 25th, 1839 as the national flag of the Republic of Texas. It later became the state flag of Texas on December 29, 1945 when Texas became the 28th state to join the Union. It borrow elements from many flags including the flag of Chile, flag of North Carolina and the flag of the United States of America.

History of Texas Flags

The Alamo Flag

The design currently known as the Texas state flag was one of the many flags that have flown in Texas. The state saw a large number of flags previously, most noticably during the Texas Revolution. The Texas Revolution took place between October of 1835 and April 1836. At that time, Texas was a portion of a Mexican state: Coahuila & Tejas. Americans who had been entering Texas had outnumbered the amount of Texas Mexicans and after the Mexican president began taxing these Americans and closed the borders coming into Texas, the war broke out between the Texans and the Mexican Texans. The Texans eventually won and Texas became a republic free from Mexico & the US. Some of the flags that flew in the battle are Battle of the Alamo Flag, The Texas Naval Flag, The Come and Take It Flag and the Dodson Flag. At that time, the Lone Star Flag became the official Republic of Texas flag.

DESIGN

The Texas Flag is designed with three colors: red, white and blue. According to the Texas Flag Code of 1933, the red stands for bravery, the white stands for purity, and the blue stands for loyalty. The single star represents all of Texas and the unity of “God, State and Country” – ultimately leading to the nickname of Texas, “The Lone Star State”. The blue field runs 1/3 of the length of the flag while the red and white runs the remaining 2/3. The 5 point star always has one point facing upwards and the diameter of the star is equal to 3/4 the width of the blue stripe.

Houston Texans Flag

The Texas State Flag has lent its design elements to many flags still being used today. Many of the sports teams of Texas have borrowed the star and/or color design. These are just a small sample of professional teams that have used the Texas design:

  • Dallas Cowboys: (NFL) Single Star logo
  • Houston Texans: (NFL) Single Star and red, white and blue colors
  • Dallas Stars: (NHL) Single Star logo
  • Houston Astros: (MLB) Single Star logo
  • Texas Rangers: (MLB) Single Star and red, white and blue colors
  • Houston Comets: (WNBA) Red, white and blue colors
  • San Antonio Silver Stars: (WNBA) Star logo

The Texas flag is a staple of America. Becoming one of the most recognizable flags of our nation, it stands for pride and courage. The state makes up the second largest state of America in both population and land size. Known for its cattle, crop and oil production, it has become one of the greatest contributors to American history, industry and advacement. I hope this brief history helps you have a better look at Texas and its flag. Check out our blog and our website: FlagExpressions.com for a great selection of American, State and Historical flags.

Create Memorial Day Memories

Memorial Day is a day to commemorate the brave men and women who have died while in military service to our country. The first “Memorial Day” was actually called Decoration Day and was established following the Civil War, most commonly honoring the dead of the Union forces.

The first official observance of the Decoration Day took place in Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866 and soon thereafter became observed on May 30th because of the fact it was not an anniversary of a battle.

The Memorial Day name was not used until 1882 but caught on nationally after World War II…it eventually became the officially recognized name in 1967. The Uniform Monday Holidays Bill changed the date of Memorial Day from May 30th to the last Monday of May to give the American people a 3 day weekend to celebrate.

What can we do though on Memorial Day? How are we supposed to recognize these men and women?

Some of the most common ways Memorial Day is celebrated today:

  • Memorial Day parades – The most prominent parade is the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC where it is estimated that well over 250,000 people will attend. Most parades feature local veterans who are honored for their service, marching bands, youth groups (boy scouts, ROTC, etc.) and other various floats.
  • Visit local memorials and burial sites, giving thanks for these soldiers and their sacrifices.
  • Flying US flags at half-staff until noon.
  • Flying POW/MIA & Support Our Troops flags. 
  • Send care packages or letters to our troops overseas. A great website to get you in contact with a soldier currently overseas is AnySoldier.com. The website gives you the address and needs of a soldier allowing you to give your support, even if it is just a letter of encouragement. 
  • Recognizing national moment of silence at 3pm. At this time, people are asked to reflect on the sacrifices of those soldiers and to give thanks and dedication to the support and prayer of our troops.

What are some of the other ways we can support these troops on Memorial Day? I asked a soldier who is currently in the military the way we can celebrate the heroes that have given their lives to our freedoms. He gave one of the best responses I could ever have expected: “The way I would honor them would be by spending time with my family…by going outside for a walk…by reading a book… by going to a baseball game…by grilling out on my porch…by doing something new that I have always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time….”

I believe what he means is this: Do things that are important to you and are made possible because of the freedoms that are protected by all of our soldiers past and present. Try to do something that makes you truly happy. If we are not taking advantage of these freedoms being protected by our soldiers then what are our soldiers defending anyways?

FlagExpressions thanks all of our soldiers who are protecting our great nation! We are truly appreciative of your sacrifices you make each and every day and we encourage all of our customers and readers of this blog to find some time to give to these brave men and women. Write a note, send some supplies or just wish them well.

Memorial Day is often just thought of as a day off of work or school but we all need to take a breath and look at the true meaning of the day! Please take a look at two of my favorite videos ever:

Honoring Our Soldiers on Veterans Day

Veterans-day1We all know Veterans Day as a day to give thanks for the many men and women who have served and sometimes died for our great country but where and how did this Holiday come about? First things first though, we need to get the spelling correct. Is it Veterans Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans’ Day? I was actually unsure of this and to be honest with you, I started the blog off as “Veterans’ Day”. Come to find out, all 3 ways are correct, yet the US government has formally declared that it is properly titled as Veterans Day. Whoo, I was worried I was going to get picked on for not knowing the answer, and before I do, let’s keep it moving…

Following the end of World War I in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson set aside November 11 as Armistice Day. November 11 was the symbolic end of the war which was marked by the Armistice at Rethondes, France between the Allies and Germany. There, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the Armistice was signed into effect and is now generally regarded as the moment when World War I ended. At that point in History, World War I was the deadliest war of all time with over 16.5 million casualties worldwide, including 116,708 American casualties. It was immediately declared a national holiday by many allied powers. Many nations around the world commemorated these fallen soldiers and the “cause of world peace” at 11:00am by observing two minutes of silence. This remained how it was generally observed until 1939, when during World War II, people began observing the moments of silence on the Sunday closest to November 11th so that there would be no interference with wartime activities.

In 1953, following World War 2, a man by the name of Al King proposed the name to be changed “All Veterans Day”. Al King worked directly with the American War Dads during World War 2 and knew many of the fallen soldiers and their families of WW2. Then, with the help of US Rep. Ed Reese, who also was from King’s hometown of Emporia, Kansas, a bill was passed through congress and eventually signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 26, 1954 officially changing the name to “Veterans Day”.

DF-SC-84-11899Today there are many activities on November 11th…from parades to memorial services to ceremonies. We honor the memories and lives of America’s bravest men and women. We give thanks for our freedoms and understand the prices that have been paid for them. Candles are lit, services are held, and flags are displayed. We ask that this November 11th you lift up these brave soldiers in your heart and give thanks to the men and women currently overseas protecting this great nation!