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Vexillologically yours, Deborah

PSdvetsday84Now would be a good time to sign up for the RSS feed from The Daily Flag.

Last week I took a small vacation from The Daily Flag, and during that time I made major business decisions about The Daily Flag and Flags Bay.

I will continue to write for The Daily Flag, but I am reducing the number of articles to one a week, maybe two, which will include occasional book reviews, too.

More than half the people who come to TDF are looking for specific information on flag protocol and etiquette, and I need to make changes on the website so that information is easier to find.

One of the serendipitous consequences of writing at TDF is that I have developed two book ideas which I never would have known about or considered, were it not for TDF and the research required to write here.  I don’t know if these ideas are viable, but I am devoting more time to them. That means trips to distant libraries, because the information I am looking for is not found on the Internet.

I would tell you what the book ideas are, but I cannot (unless you are a book publisher reading here—then one book is an undertold story in American vexillology, and the other idea is about a flag whose mysterious origin, I believe, is deeply buried in one of the oldest and most beloved works in all of English literature. Write me at deborah@flagsbay.com).

Until next week, I remain vexillologically yours, Deborah.

The flag image shown above was adapted from a U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs 1984 Veterans Day poster. The name of the artist is not available presently, but I’m on the hunt.  Isn’t it a beautiful painting!

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An American flag for everyone

Alex Richman took a great photo a few weeks ago, while he was walking the sidewalks in Bay Ridge, New York.  It is content-rich, and I want you to go to Alex’s Flickr page and examine at the photo at the 3872 x 2592 pixel size. It is a feast for the eyes, and a total delight.

What I love about this photo, is that the hardware store owner has a flag for everyone, even tiny flag pins. The printed 3’x5′ flag is priced at $7.50. The least expensive little 4"x6" flag is 50c, and the "better" 4"x6" flag is 75c. I am absolutely certain that these flags are imported, and I’m not upset about it. Maybe the store owner is imported, too.

Flags Bay is my business, and I stock one of the finest American-made flags in the country. But I don’t object to imported flags, because I want everyone to have an American flag, and I believe in free trade. If some youngster spends $7.50 for a 3’x5′ flag to hang in his room now, then I have every confidence and expectation that someday he will buy an American-made flag … maybe from Flags Bay.

 

AR Harware store flags for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see more of Alex Richman’s photographs at Sidewalk Photography and Alex Richman Photography.

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The Daily Flag News—March 4, 2008

Eagle Scout projects are favorite stories to highlight here at Flags Bay. This story is interesting because of the involvement of other organizations in the project. Matthew Johnson has already lined up the money, volunteers and is working on the location for a little new construction.

Battle Creek Enquirer – www.battlecreekenquirer.com – Battle Creek, Mich.
matthewjohnson_eaglescoutproject.jpgHastings, Mich. – As part of The 2008 Leadership Barry County class, members are required to develop and work on a community service project. This project must benefit the local Barry County community, while providing an experience that will build leadership skills. The Leadership Class of 2008 has selected a project in which they will partner with a local Boy Scout, Matthew Johnson (age 12), to build a “Charity House” as a part of Matt’s endeavor to become an Eagle Scout.

The “Charity House” is an actual shed-sized “house” that will be used for the collection of returnable cans and bottles that will be donated to a local charity on a monthly cycle.

The 45-star flag was the U.S. flag around the turn of the 20th century. Looking at the photo, this one-hundred year old flag is in good shape and will enjoy its new home in the courthouse.

45 star flag finds new home in courthouse
farmington_45-star.jpgFARMINGTON — A little piece of history has found a permanent home in Davis County. At the Davis County Commission’s Feb. 26 meeting, members of the American Legion’s Farmington Post 27 presented the commissioners with a 45-star flag made soon after President Grover Cleveland signed a proclamation admitting Utah into the union as the 45th state.

“This is a special flag, and we thought long and hard about what to do with it,” said William Huber, commander of Post 27. “The courthouse has been designated a war memorial, so we thought this would be a good place for it.”

The Old North Church is updating some of its technology and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but LED lights in the historic church? I’ll have to think about it.

My Way News – Old North Church Goes Modern With LEDs
oldnorthchurchtower.jpgBOSTON (AP) – One LED if by land, and two if by sea?

The Old North Church, a beacon for Paul Revere’s famous warning of the movement of British forces, and a symbol of the American Revolution, has gone high-tech with the installation of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

The energy-efficient lights illuminate ceiling vaults inside the church, whose steeple was used to display two lanterns as a signal about British troop movements on April 18, 1775 – the night described in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, which included the line: “One if by land, and two if by sea.”

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Study reveals customer service, goods are better online

As an online retailer, this survey is good news. The biggest promise of online shopping is convenience, allowing consumers to purchase items quickly and easily from the comfort of home or office. Flags Bay wasn’t part of their survey, but you can be sure we measure up to the companies profiled in the article.

http://jewishworldreview.com/0208/better_online.php3
Online retailers are delivering the goods and better customer service than traditional stores, according to a University of Michigan study expected to be released Tuesday.

Customer satisfaction with online retail was even with last year at 83 points on a 100-point scale, but surpassed brick-and-mortar retailers by 12 percent, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

“Against a backdrop of weakening consumer spending and talk about recession, e-commerce will continue to be a bright spot for multichannel companies,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results in Ann Arbor, which partnered with the university’s Ross School of Business on the survey.

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The Daily Flag Flies into Your Inbox

LoneStarFlag In the past month, Flags Bay launched two new information services. This is a good time to review those services, and clarify a few points. One is from The Daily Flag and the other is from Flags Bay’s flag store.

Subscribe by Email

The first new service is the Subscribe by Email which was added at The Daily Flag. Many of our readers subscribe using the RSS feed on the website, but that’s not for every one. If you don’t know what an RSS feed is, don’t worry about it. It’s geeky techno-jargon anyway.

For our normal readers, the Subscribe by Email is quick and easy to use. In the right sidebar on any page, you will see the place to subscribe by entering your email address. Once you do that, an email is sent to the address typed in to verify it is legitimate. Before your subscription is activated, you must click a link in the email. This takes you to a Flags Bay page for you to click confirm.

This is called a double opt-in email subscription and accomplishes two purposes. First is to keep someone from entering your email address without your permission and second, to make sure you intended to subscribe.

Our privacy policy assures the safety of your email address, and the only thing you receive by this action are new articles written and published at The Daily Flag. You will not receive any junk emails or marketing materials from Flags Bay … ever.

Flag Position Notifications

The second new service is a little different. This is a request notification about flag flying days and half-staff days. We have implemented this from the Flag Store where that feature is built into our store software.

Those on this email list will receive notices of the 20+ designated flag flying days each year (according to the U.S. Flag Code), including the days the flag should be flown at half-staff. For instance, there are two days in February on the designated list, Lincoln’s Birthday and President’s Day (Washington’s Birthday Observed). We will send out emails two or three days prior to these days with a reminder to fly the flag and at what position, full or half-staff.

To be part of this email notification, all you need to do is set up an account at the store. Setting up an account does not require a purchase (though I don’t want to discourage you). Again, this is not a spam or marketing list, and will be used for flag position notifications.

If you need more information on either of these new services, click the Contact tab at the top of this page and fill in the form. The information from that form flies straight into MY inbox insuring a rapid response.

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We’re kicking off the New Year early!

flagstore-capture.jpgAt Flags Bay, we’re kicking off the New Year early with a new flag store and more products! Flags Bay went online in January of this year, but we’re not waiting for our anniversary to celebrate.

The Daily Flag is in line for some format changes too, which will make it easier to read and use for reference. More on that later.

Please take a look at the new store and give us your feedback.

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Audio Welcome Tour added to Flags Bay

Recently I added a new feature to the front page of Flags Bay—an audio mp3 file to welcome and give you a quick tour in navigating the website.

I’d like to know what you think and if you have any suggestions to make it better. The audio is just over one minute in length. Listen and let me know in the comments. Thanks!

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Staff Meetings

Just like other businesses, we at Flags Bay and The Daily Flag have staff meetings. We talk about inventory and revenue, expenses and supplies, the website and computers, software and why I have such a difficult time remembering particular HTML coding, and Technorati tags

Larry will ask what I am working on, which is usually research, because I can research for days without actually writing anything (while piling up books and papers all around me, and every pencil I own, plus a ruler, magnifying glass, archival tape, and a stack of jazz CDs), and I write mostly about subjects that are not time-sensitive.

Then he tells me about the ideas and things he is working on, and those items are normally more topical. He writes much faster than I do, and is amazingly organized, and he mind-maps much of what he does. He is digital and I am analog, and thus we maintain a balance of sorts.

After that he asks what I’m fixing for lunch, and I tell him that I haven’t thought about it, and he reminds me that he likes to eat lunch every day, usually about noon, and because we have been married for thirty-seven years, he doesn’t understand why I have to think about it each day. I remind him that I married him “for better or worse” but not lunch every day.

He goes to bed early, gets up early. I stay up late, and sleep late, and he brings me coffee in bed. I load the dishwasher and he unloads it, and he makes sure that my car never runs out of gas, because he knows how much I hate to pump gas (and he records the number of gallons, the price per gallon, and calculates the mileage on his Palm Tungsten T5, because he is digital and I am analog).

On Fridays, we go to the bank, the library (because you can’t write if you are not reading), and eat lunch out (usually Szechuan, but occasionally shrimp or catfish), then hit the office supply and the grocery store. Sometimes we go to a park beside the water, and watch the sailboats leave out for a weekend on Galveston Bay or the Gulf of Mexico, and thus we maintain our balance.

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The Power of B.A.N.G.—10 Lessons Learned

BANG

What is the real power of networking? Friday I visited a local networking group and got a fresh look at Power Networking. The group meets for ninety minutes each Friday morning at 7:30, and it was quite an eye-opener for me.

I had been invited to this group before, but I always had an excuse for not attending. Time was the reason I usually gave, but honestly, it was a lack of motivation—I didn’t see the benefit of getting up early to make a 7:30 AM meeting.

Things Change

Since launching Flags Bay several months ago, Busy has been my middle name, but things are settling into a normal weekly hum. A few weeks ago, I was invited again to the weekly event by another person singing the praises of this group, so I made plans to attend.

I had forgotten how much fun networking with a group of business people can be. I know that sounds funny, but before I left my previous job, I attended five to ten meetings each month that could be described as networking. Activity in several Chambers of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation fed my need to congregate around people and discuss business.

Bay Area Network Group

B.A.N.G. hosts up to twelve meetings Monday through Friday, in as many locations throughout the area, and I know a few people who make the rounds attending all the meetings. There were 60 businesses represented at the meeting I attended on Friday morning.

B.A.N.G., Bay Area Network Group, is different than joining a Chamber of Commerce. There is no fee to join and the only ongoing cost of membership is referring other members of the group to customers and prospects when the opportunity arises. This is something I have always done, so this is easy.

The Real Power of Networking

So, what is the real power of networking? Here are ten lessons learned from attending one meeting of B.A.N.G..

  1. Energy recharges
  2. Enthusiasm is contagious
  3. Unique gets you noticed
  4. Sincerity is felt
  5. Friendliness never goes out of style
  6. Class shows in actions
  7. Competing Businesses can co-exist
  8. Volunteers work & benefit
  9. Barriers are artificial
  10. Conduct is important
  11. Relationships are vital

If you have to opportunity to get involved in a networking group, don’t hesitate. It’s good for you.