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The Daily Flag News—July 9th, 2007

The record is broken, July 5th, 12:02 AM. Last month I included an article about Robert Heft in The Daily Flag. The 50-star flag was staged to break the record for longest flying flag, and the creator of the design is still speaking and promoting the Stars and Stripes everywhere he goes.

Designer’s record-breaking flag flies high | – Houston Chronicle
robertheft-with-flag.jpgRobert Heft is a flag connoisseur. While out driving, Heft, who designed America’s official 50-star flag as a high school project in 1958, can always spot Old Glory’s red and white bars waving in front of someone’s home.

“I notice flags like a beautician notices hair or a shoe salesman notices shoes,” said Heft, 65, of Thomas Township, Mich.

At 12:02 a.m. on Thursday, Heft’s 50-star design overtook the 48-star banner as the longest-serving flag in American history, with 47 years and one minute of service.

Heft said he received numerous calls from American and foreign news agencies as the milestone day approached.

“The story is out there,” he said. “I never thought when I designed the flag that it would outlast the 48-star flag.”

A highly sought orator, Heft’s packed schedule usually includes 225 speaking engagements a year.

There’s a lot of history tied up in Old Glory. Surviving flags from our history show how men of consequence felt about the Stars and Stripes. Many are preserved or restored and found in museums for all to see, and hear the stories each one tells.

Flags tell the story of our history – Framingham, MA – The Framingham Tab
34star-us-flag.jpgFramingham -It’s flown over our heads for more than two centuries — red, white and blue, stars and stripes.

It’s been a symbol of partisan politics, and it has transcended politics.

But the American flag has rarely been a static form.

“The flag tells the story,” said Dana Ricciardi, curator of the Framingham Historical Society and Museum. She noted the famous photograph of soldiers raising a U.S. flag over the Japanese island of Iwo Jima during World War II.

She said flags are often chosen for preservation because they are emblematic of the people who carried them and flew them.

The town’s own historical flag — now on display; for years the flag was stuck in a cupboard until its discovery in 1999 — is a 34-star version flown by the 13th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.

The well-worn flag was carried through the battles at Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and elsewhere — 28 Framingham residents were part of that regiment, according to Ricciardi.

I’m proud of Harold and Tammy Travitz, but saddened by the lack of outrage from others for the absence of an American flag at the 4th of July celebration. The protocol for singing the National Anthem, is to face the flag, place your hand over your heart, and sing with gusto, but that’s not what happened last week in Tracy, California.

No flag with the rockets’ red glare
harold-travitz-with-flag.jpgA Tracy man is upset that there was no flag during the Fourth of July national anthem. By Danielle MacMurchy

Glenn Moore/Tracy Press – RED, WHITE AND BLUE:Harold Travitz, who says he always displays his U.S. flag, unfurls the banner at his home on Friday. Travitz said he and his wife, Tammy, were upset by the Fourth of July celebration at Peter B. Kyne Field because there was no flag present during the singing of the national anthem.

For the past 10 years of Fourth of July holidays, Harold and Tammy Travitz have claimed the same bleacher seats near the flagpole at Tracy High’s Peter B. Kyne Field.

Travitz, who comes from a family of military men, looked forward to watching the American flag wave in the breeze at dusk before the fireworks show started this week.

But there was no flag waving at Wednesday’s evening celebration. The national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” was sung to an empty pole.

“Where’s the flag” the Travitz couple had yelled when the national anthem began to play.

Among the couple of hundred people in the stands, only a few others noticed or even stood, Travitz said.

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