Sheldon has vexillology in his brain that has to get out …
TimeWarner Cable is advertising in Texas, which seems ordinary enough. But the company is using a series of commercials that display the Lone Star flag hanging upside-down on the flagpole. The flag’s white stripe is on the bottom, and the top point on the five-pointed star is pointing down, not up.
I spoke with a TimeWarner Cable marketer in Dallas on November 19, 2009, about a specific TimeWarner commercial with an upside-down Texas flag, and I was told that the commercial would be taken off the air (it was the “football game and tail-gating in Texas” commercial). I don’t know if it was actually removed or not, because I don’t watch television 24/7.
The image below, from the November commercial, is from a screen capture sent to me by a reader at The Daily Flag. There can be no mistake that the state flag of Texas is mounted upside-down on the pole.
Last night (12/08/09) while watching television I saw a different TW Cable commercial—using what looked like the same set as the commercial from November. The flag is mounted on an indoor pole, and sits in the corner office of what appears to be a football coach.
Clearly, the commercial is designed specifically for the Texas market, but just as clearly—TimeWarner Cable has deliberately chosen to overlook this egregious error in filming the commercial.
The conglomerate TimeWarner Cable wants Texans to buy their cable service, but doesn’t care enough about Texans to edit or re-shoot their commercials so the Lone Star flag is not displayed upside-down. If you interviewed a thousand advertising companies, I’m sure they all would tell you that insulting your customers is bad for your business.
If I were considering a television cable system, I would think twice about buying service from a company that doesn’t respect its market. Did TimeWarner Cable produce state-specific commercials for Maryland, Ohio, and Tennessee—and carelessly display those states’ flags upside-down too? Because I’ve heard the folks in those states love football, and I expect that they too, are most particular about how their state flags are displayed.
Once again, the STAR on the Lone Star flag should be displayed pointing up, or if the flag is displayed vertically by the hoist, the star points to its own right—or left as viewed from in front of the flag. Link here for the flag statute in the Texas government code.
The third Friday in September is honored as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
The flag is flown in the full-staff position on this day. While the law addresses flying the POW/MIA flag on federal installations only (see the link above), civilians should fly the POW/MIA flag directly beneath the U.S. flag on the same pole. State flags should not be flown on the same pole on these occasions.
I am not a member of the National League of Families, but I think those who are would remind us all that is not an occasion of mourning. This is a day to be filled with hope and determination, and to remember that there is still much work to be done. From the League of Families website:
UPDATE: September 2, 2009
AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR: There are now 1,731 US personnel listed by the Defense POW/MIA Office (DPMO) as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. The number of US personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is now 852. During the League’s 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting, a League member announced that she had just received confirmation from JPAC that remains recovered earlier had been identified as those of her brother, MSGT Donald C. Grella, USA, of Nebraska, listed KIA/BNR on December 28, 1965 in South Vietnam. Also now accounted for from that same incident are WO2 Jesse D. Phelps of Idaho and CPL Thomas Rice, Jr. of South Carolina, both also US Army and initially listed as KIA/BNR. Three Air Force personnel whose names were released as accounted for are Capt Robert J. Edgar of Florida, listed MIA in Laos on 2/5/68, remains repatriated 5/27/97 and identified 4/28/09; Maj Curtis D. Miller of Texas, listed MIA in Laos on 3/29/72, remains repatriated 8/2/06 and identified 2/12/08; and LtCol Russell A. Poor of Indiana, listed MIA in North Vietnam on 2/4/67, remains repatriated 6/14/07 and identified 5/26/08. To each of these families, the League offers understanding and the hope that these concrete answers bring long-awaited peace of mind. Of the 1,731 men still missing, 90% were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control.
You can help: National League of Families
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is a combined event that is observed in the United States on September 17. This event commemorates the formation and signing of the Constitution of the United States September 17, 1787, and celebrates our American citizenship. What a great day to fly the American flag!
For an excellent overview of our Constitution see this article at the National Archives.
Citizenship Day, one of our newest federal holidays, was established and ratified by Congress on 2004. It recognizes all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become US citizens.
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
In some cases, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows the oath to be taken without the clauses:
“… that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by law … “
If USCIS finds that you are unable to swear the oath using the words “on oath,” you may replace these words with “and solemnly affirm.” If USCIS finds that you are unable to use the words “so help me God” because of your religious training or beliefs, you are not required to say these words.
Last October on The Daily Flag, I wrote an article titled Texas Fold ‘Em, about folding the Texas flag. The gist of the article was that there was not an official way to fold the flag, although state offices have traditionally folded it the same way the U.S. flag is folded.
Early this summer, the Texas legislature passed a bill that codifies a protocol for folding the flag, and now Texans have an official method for folding the Lone Star Flag.
Authored by Sen. Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, and Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, the legislation goes into effect September 1, 2009.
SECTION 1. Requires that this Act be known as the Rod Welsh Act, in honor of Rod Welsh, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Texas House of Representatives, who is primarily responsible for developing the method of folding the state flag of Texas established by this Act.
SECTION 2. Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 3100, Government Code, by adding Section 3100.073, as follows:
Sec. 3100.073. FOLDED STATE FLAG. (a) Provides that the state flag should be folded as follows: fold the flag in half lengthwise with the red stripe facing upward, fold the flag in half lengthwise once more, concealing the red stripe on the inside of the fold, position the flag with the white star facing downward and the blue stripe facing upward, fold the corner with the white stripe to the opposite side of the flag to form a triangle, continue folding the corners over in triangles until the resulting fold produces a blue triangle with a portion of the white star visible, and secure all edges into the folds.
(b) Provides that a folded state flag should be presented or displayed with all folded edges secured and with the blue stripe and a portion of the white star visible.
(c) Provides that a folded state flag should be stored or displayed in a manner that prevents tearing or soiling of the flag.
SECTION 3. Effective date: September 1, 2009.
Photo Credit: from the musical “Texas” in Palo Duro Canyon, Canyon Tx
Last Friday I received an email alerting me to the National Anthem YouTube Singing Contest sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and USA Weekend Magazine!
My correspondent asked if I would share this information with The Daily Flag readers, and I am happy to do so. Entries for this contest will end on April 13.
The winner will be invited to perform the national anthem at the museum and at the Baltimore Orioles vs. Atlanta Braves game in Baltimore on Flag Day, June 14.
The links below will tell you how to enter the contest.
- Call for Entries: http://americanhistory.si.edu/news/pressrelease.cfm?key=29&newskey=968
- YouTube group: http://www.youtube.com/group/Starspangledbanner
- Contest badge: http://americanhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/submit-your-video.aspx
Long-time Daily Flag readers will know that I am a purist about our National Anthem, and if my advice is worth anything, then this is it: If you want to enter this contest, then sing the Star-Spangled Banner with all your heart, and all your soul. Tell the story like it was the first time anyone was hearing it, and take us back to that morning in Baltimore harbor.
Happy New Year! And goodbye.
It’s time for me to fold up The Daily Flag. I’ve had a great time for the past two years, and made wonderful friends. TDF readers are the best.
But I’m not very good at multi-tasking. As it turns out, my best attribute is also my worst attribute. That means I can focus exclusively on one project, to the exclusion of all others. Now it is time for me to put The Daily Flag aside and pursue another project.
Finally, for The Daily Flag readers, one last flag photo. Isn’t this perfect! It was taken by White House photographer Tina Hager, on the south lawn of the White House, July 4, 2002. It’s how my heart feels on the inside. Best Wishes to you all.
Christmas, December 25, is an official flag flying day. Christmas is on Thursday this year which is great, because for most of this month, I thought Christmas was on Wednesday. So I was overjoyed to discover I had an extra day for preparations!
To give you a jump start on 2009, here is the list of flag-flying days.
- New Year’s Day, January 1
- Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, third Monday in January (January 19, 2009)
- Inauguration Day, January 20
- Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12
- Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February
- Easter Sunday (variable)
- Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May
- Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15 (half-staff all day)
- Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
- Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May
- Flag Day, June 14
- Independence Day, July 4
- Labor Day, first Monday in September
- Patriot Day, September 11 (half-staff all day)
- Constitution Day, September 17
- National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day, October 4 (half-staff all day) (established in 2001)
- Columbus Day, second Monday in October
- Navy Day, October 27
- Veterans Day, November 11
- Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
- National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7 (half-staff all day)
- Christmas Day, December 25
- and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays.
The Daily Flag previously linked here and here, to The Oregonian’s articles about its contest to design a new state flag for Oregon. From thousands of entries, the newspaper has chosen ten finalists for its readers to vote on, and those designs can be viewed at The Oregonian’s website.
My choice? I didn’t actually vote, because I don’t live in Oregon. But I like this one. It respects the past with a traditional, yet modern design. And it looks the same from both sides, which is important in Oregon.
Jaymes Walker , 55, Northeast Portland, a landscape designer
The process: “I purposefully kept this flag simple in order for it to represent all of Oregon.” What it means: The “O” stands for Oregon, and is doubled. The incoming stripes frame the letter and strengthen the image to show the strength and solidarity. Blue and gold, the state colors, represent the Pacific Ocean and western Oregon; and the high desert and wheat fields of eastern Oregon. Note that the colors could be reversed.
Hat Tip to Oregonian Ted Kaye, of NAVA—North American Vexillological Association.
A reminder to those who want to display the Texas flag in the vertical position: The white stripe is on the left and the red stripe is on the right.
From the Texas State Library and Archives Commission: General provisions regarding the Texas state flag, and information on the display of the flag, the flag pledge, and the retirement of the state flag are included in Chapter 3100 of the Texas Government Code, available from the Texas Constitution and Statutes site.
(a) If the state flag is displayed horizontally, the white stripe should be above the red stripe and, from the perspective of an observer, to the right of the blue stripe.
(b) If the state flag is displayed vertically:
(1) the blue stripe should be above the white and red stripes; and
(2) the white stripe should be, from the perspective of an observer, to the left of the red stripe. (my italics)
This perfect photograph of the Lone Star flag was taken by Matt Pippen at the Texas Capitol in Austin.