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The Daily Flag News—February 6, 2008

More than 3,000 Texas state Boy Scouts converged on the State Capitol and grounds in Austin on February 2 for their annual meeting with the Governor. The fifty-eighth annual event’s theme was Community Service and their meeting with Eagle Scout Rick Perry (also known as the Governor) went very well. The Austin American-Statesman has some great video of the event, showing all the boys and the fun they had Saturday.

John L. Kovach, Jr. is the major influence in Pittsburgh setting up a public flag retirement facility in a local park allowing civic groups and local residents the ability to retire their flags from service. Kovach tells his story at the website War, Peace, Tolerance and Our Soldiers. The article can serve as a blueprint for other cities looking to provide a unique service for it’s citizens. The best part … it’s right next to the Boy Scout meeting facility.

More and more cities are trying to get a handle on run-away signs and Brunswick, Georgia is no different. The city recently passed a new sign ordinance and within a few weeks gave tickets to two local businessmen because they were flying the U.S. flag at their car lots. There is more to the story available from the local newspaper.

The Brunswick News
Gary Hudginsflag Gary Hudgins never thought his love of the American flag would land him in Glynn County Magistrate Court.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Hudgins, owner of the Carl Gregory car dealership at 5400 Altama Ave., Glynn County, has decorated every car at his dealership with an American flag. Not anymore.

On Friday, a Glynn County code enforcement officer told Hudgins the flags were in violation of a county sign ordinance adopted this past November and handed him a citation. Two weeks before, Hudgins was sent a letter from Glynn County Code Enforcement informing him of the new ordinance, which prohibits the display of banners, flags and portable signs.

 Rayond Jacobs, the last living Marine in the Iwo Jima photograph, has died at the age of 82 on January 29, 2008. Honorable discharged in 1946, Jacobs spent many years proving he was the radioman in the famous raising of the American flag, and negatives from the roll of film clearly show his participation. Jacobs retired in 1992 as a reporter for the television station, KTVU-TV in Oakland, California.

Flag raising on Iwo Jima
February 23, 1945
80-G-413988
War and Conflict #1221  FlagRaisedonIwoJima

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Texans get to choose a new license plate design—Part 2

texastagchoice.jpgIt’s time to get out the vote! That’s right, the new Texas license plate designs are on display and you have until noon, February 11, 2008 to register your opinion by voting. Deborah voted for Natural Texas and I voted for Lone Star.

Follow the story link directly to the voting page.

Texas License Plates
Voting Timeframe

Voting begins at noon on Monday, Feb. 4 and ends at noon on Monday, Feb. 11. View the current unofficial vote count.

Note: Limit two votes per household. Additional votes will be deleted.

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Texans get to choose a new license plate design

texaslicenseplate.jpgOver the past year, many states changed their license tag designs, using the state’s population to choose the winner. Now Texas is changing its licenses plates and we have One Week to vote for which tag we like best. The choices include the current tag plus four new designs which TXDot won’t reveal until noon February 4, 2008, when we all get to see.

Voting takes place at the TXDot website.

Texans have a license to choose new plates | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle
On Monday, the Texas Department of Transportation officials will unveil four possible designs for next year’s general-issue Texas license plates.

And for the first time, Texans will help choose the plate design by voting for their favorite on the Internet.

Texans will have one week — beginning noon Monday — to go to www.txdot.gov and vote for one of the four new designs or for the existing plate.

If Texans pick the current design, it will be modified to show seven digits rather than six.

“We’re trying to listen to what our customers are saying,” said Rebecca Davio, TxDOT’s director of vehicles, title and registration.

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Parade Protocol for the U.S. Flag

SalutetheFlagDeborah and I were running errands Saturday morning, and darned if a parade didn’t break out in downtown Sattler, Texas (population 30). To be fair, the Canyon Lake area has a population of 29,000 people.

As with all parades, there were flags everywhere, so I got busy taking pictures with my cell phone (I could have sworn the camera was in the car) while Deborah actively watched the parade, standing out front of the Ace Hardware store.

It was a great parade and we enjoyed ourselves very much. Besides horses (riding clubs), there were two marching bands, classic cars (about eight 55-57 Thunderbirds), lots of politicians, and several local organizations represented.

Speaking of flags, it was apparent some of the participants needed to brush up on the U.S. Flag Code. Some of the parade participants displayed the flags improperly, so with that introduction, I would like to give a lecture on parade protocol.

As I’ve written before, the problem appears when the U.S. flag is displayed with other flags. Using the U.S. and Texas flag code as our guide books, I’ll point out the good and the bad from our Christmas parade.

The U.S. Flag Code has plenty to say about parades, with explicit instructions for both those in the parade and those watching.

 Parade Participants

Section 7 of the Flag Code, titled Position and Manner of Display, begins by describing parade protocol for the flag.

The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag’s own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
(a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.
(b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

(i) When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

 

LeadColorGuard Parade Color Guard

The parade Color Guard led off with five flags. At first glance everything looks good, but if you’ll click the picture to see it larger, it isn’t. I can identify four of the flags, and have a guess to the fifth. They are displayed in this order: front row, U.S. flag, riding club flag, Texas flag, followed by a local flag, and the Mexican flag. I will give them credit for having the U.S. flag in the proper place, but the other four are wrong.

Using the U.S. Flag Code in conjunction with the Texas flag code, the flags should have been presented, in order; U.S. flag, Mexican flag,Texas flag, local flag, then the riding club flag.

My suggestion for the best way would be to present the U.S. flag in the lead with a line of the other four flags, in the order I assigned above, in a second row. That would be best the best way to showcase the American flag.

ProperFlagDisplayThe Shriners marched their own Color Guard and all the flags were displayed in the right order.

The American flag is to parade right, with the Mexican National flag second, the Texas flag third, then their organization flag on the far left.

This is a positive example of a group taking the time to know and understand the proper display of all the flags involved. They didn’t have to display all four flags, but in doing so, it’s nice to see it done right.

The Shriners, with their variety of little cars and motorcycles participate in a lot of parades, and I applaud this organization for knowing proper flag protocol.

Float Displays

1208071111a Local VFW Post #8573, which I wrote about on Veteran’s day, used a trailer as a float in the parade. The flags were mounted on the very back of the trailer and technically displayed correctly.

The U.S. flag is mounted in the center and higher than the other two flags. The Texas flag is displayed to the parade’s right (Texas flag code) and the POW-MIA flag to the parade’s left. This meets all the requirements of the U.S. and Texas Flag Codes.

Though their flag display is correct, I think it would be more fitting if the flags were mounted on the front of the trailer, leading the way forward—rather than riding drag (cattle drive reference).

Vehicle Displays

FiretruckFlagsClamped to the right fender” is the correct way to display the U.S. flag on a vehicle according to the Flag Code. In the picture, you’ll notice the U.S. flag attached to the right fender and the Texas flag attached to the left fender on the fire truck.

The Texas Flag Code states,

§ 3100.064. DISPLAY ON FLAGSTAFF ON MOTOR VEHICLE. If the state flag is displayed on a flagstaff on a motor vehicle, the staff should be attached firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender. If the flag of the United States and the state flag are displayed on flagstaffs on a motor vehicle:

(1) the staff of the flag of the United States should be clamped to the right fender of the vehicle; and

(2) the staff of the state flag should be clamped to the left fender of the vehicle.

Most of the vehicles displayed the two flags properly.

Parade Watchers

The photograph at the top of the page shows not only the flags properly displayed, but in the background you’ll see two people respectfully holding the right hand held over the heart, which is correct. Section 9 of the Flag Code addresses this in detail.

Section 9 (in its entirety)

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

Now you know how to act at your next parade. And if you are in charge, make sure the lead Color Guard displays the flags right.

Also, if you get pictures of flags in your local Christmas parade, send them in with narrative and we’ll publish them for everyone’s enjoyment.

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Texas county courthouses—a sampler

I wanted to share a few of the courthouse photos that I shot over the Thanksgiving weekend. We traveled 500 miles, coming back from the Texas panhandle, and I photographed seven courthouses that were situated right next the the road we traveled.

I tried to get the flagpole and flags in each shot, but it wasn’t possible at every courthouse. Some flags were out by the road or hidden behind a tree in the photo I wanted to take.

The state of Texas is divided into 255 counties, and I suppose every county must have a courthouse of some sort. I don’t have dates for when these four shown below were built, but their styles are unique.

The King County Courthouse picture is of the old courthouse, sitting next to a more modern brown brick building housing the county government now. It looks like they may be restoring the old courthouse, maybe making it a museum. That would be great.

cottle-county-courthouse3.JPG

Cottle County Courthouse is located in Paducah, Texas
king-county-courthouse-old3.JPG

King County Courthouse in Guthrie, Texas
mcculloch-county-courthouse3.JPG

McCulloch County Courthouse is in Brady, Texas
mason-county-courthouse.JPG

Mason County Courthouse in Mason, Texas

As time permits, I will publish more of the photos from the trip.

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Aspermont’s Big Flag

aspermontwatertower.JPG

Aspermont’s large flag flies from their water tower in the center of town.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Deborah and I headed north to the Texas Panhandle (Deborah’s note: um … that’s the square part of the state and proud of it). The five-hundred mile trip takes about eight hours with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

This large American flag is flying high in Aspermont, Texas where the city built special brackets to support the huge flag. Driving into town on highway US 83, this flag makes a grand statement to visitors and locals alike.

Next door is the Stonewall County Courthouse, which has a great view of the large U.S. flag. Pictures of that are forth coming, along with other Texas county courthouses we passed on our trip.

The Hornets reference on the tower is to Aspermont’s high school mascot. This type of display is common in Texas, where high school sports—in particular football—rule.

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The Daily Flag News—November 23, 2007

Do you like stories about veterans? I do.

Japanese kamikazi pilots tried their best to cripple the U.S. Naval fleet, but many ships survived. Wayne Hicks shares his story and the flag he saved after the Battle of Okinawa.

Veteran saved flag that was almost cut in half by kamikaze plane in Battle of Okinawa | Life | Idaho Statesman
waynehicksflag.jpg“I don’t think a lot of young people today have enough respect for the flag,” he said. “Their parents or their grandparents try to instill it in them, but it goes over their heads. They don’t realize how important the flag is.

“Freedom isn’t free. You have to fight for it every day or it will be gone. There’s always somebody willing to take it away from us.”

I realize this story is a few days late for Veterans Day, but I still thought it was worth sharing. Like so many of our veterans, Wayne Hicks is a hero 365 days a year. His love of a tattered old flag, and his message about the freedom it represents, are timeless.

Hank Williams saw a different side of the war after the United States entered. North Africa would be his initiation into battle and then on the way to Japan, they were informed that the war was over, which made them bound for the USA.

Claremont veteran shares memories of WWII
hankwilliams.jpgEach night before he goes to sleep, the war veteran salutes the flag of the country he has served and the country he is delighted to be a part of.

“When I give the salute, it’s a way that I honor the flag and also the country,” Mr. Williams said.

A 5th-generation Pennsylvania Dutchman, Mr. Williams entered into the US Army when he was just 17 years old. One of his most memorable and earliest experiences in uniform was when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the United States in 1939—the first such visit by a reigning British Monarch on American soil.

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Are you flying your state flag upside-down?

Some U.S. State flags are symmetrical and some are almost symmetrical. With a symmetrical flag, there is no top or bottom, you just fly the flag. However, the flags that are almost symmetrical can give you fits, if you are careless and don’t pay attention to which way is up.

In this article I want to clarify the subtle differences in the almost symmetrical flags.

To begin with, here are the three State flags that have no obvious top or bottom. They can be flown either way.
alabama.JPGcolorado.JPGnew-mexico.JPG

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico

The flags in this next group are almost symmetrical, but have little signs that help know the right direction to hoist the flag. Look carefully at the pictures, then I’ll discuss the right way to fly these flags.

maryland.JPGohio.JPGtennessee.JPGtexas.JPGdcflag.jpg

  • Maryland
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • District of Columbia

The Maryland flag appears symmetrical at first glace, but the opposing corners are different. One is black and the other is gold. I think I have this example right-side up, but it’s easy to confuse.

The Ohio flag is the only flag that is not rectangular in shape, and is easily flown upside-down if you’re in a hurry. To fly this flag correctly, pay attention to the five-pointed stars which need to point up.

The Tennessee flag has three star in the center, two on top, and one on the bottom. That is the secret, two stars on top. To correctly fly this flag requires the two stars be on top while the single star is on bottom..

The Texas flag has two vertical stripes, white and red, with a five pointed star. To fly the Texas flag properly the white stripe goes on top and the single point of the star pointing up. I remember by this rhyme, “white is right.”

The DC flag includes the three stars across the top, not the bottom. Again five-pointed stars with the single point indicating up.

The most telling part of four of these flags is the five-pointed stars. They tell the most about correctly flying a State flag, so look carefully at the flags flying in front of your business. Are they flying correctly?

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The Daily Flag News—November 9, 2007

It’s an All-American line up today. What great news stories!

Myers doesn’t want to be called a hero, but I think I’ll risk it. Tomorrow is the 232nd birthday of the Marine Corp and Francis Myers is the epitome of the WWII Marine. In battle at 19, the now 85 year old is still a Marine, and a hero to me.

85-year-old ex-Marine remembers seeing flag go up on Iwo Jima – Sun Journal
iwojimaflag.jpgAs a young Marine, Francis E. Myers went ashore at Iwo Jima in World War II. He saw his fellow Marines raise the flag as a combat photographer caught the moment with picture that became famous.

He needs no picture to remember. The flag-raising, Myers says, was done under enemy fire, an act of courage.

Myers is 85 now. He was a guest Saturday at the Marine Corps Ball at the New Riverfront Convention Center. The Marine Corps’ 232nd birthday is Saturday, Nov. 10, and celebrations have been held throughout the week.

It is traditional at Marine celebrations for a cake to be cut and for the first slice to be served to the oldest Marine by the youngest present. But at the ball in New Bern, Maj. Gen. Robert Dickerson, commander Marine Corps Installations-East, and Col. Francis Bottorff, commander of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, hand-delivered the first slice to Francis E. Myers.

People of the world want to be Americans. I loved this picture showing the diversity of new Americans: young and old, male and female, from every country.

Montana’s News Station, Fair. Accurate. To the Point. -Ceremony held in Billings for new US citizens
new-americans.jpgA group of Montanans are proud to be Americans Thursday morning.

More than a dozen immigrants from 16 different countries became official US citizens. After taking the oath of allegiance, each person was given a certificate and their very own American Flag.

After the ceremony, voter registration cards we handed out as well.

Originally from Uganda, Tracy Lawson says she is honored now be a U-S citizen. “It’s great. I have good friends, neighbors and work mates are so sweet and great it’s just like being home,” said Lawson.

Switzerland, Guatemala and Pakistan were some of the countries represented during the naturalization ceremony.

Own a piece of history tomorrow in Fredericksburg, Texas. Guns owned by Pancho Villa and Calamity Jane are to be sold at auction.

News 8 Austin | 24 Hour Local News | TOP STORIES | Two of Pancho Villa’s guns up for auction
pancho-villas-pistol.jpgMany see Pancho Villa as an infamous bandit; some view him as a revolutionary hero. All agree that the folk hero of the 1910 Mexican Revolution was always heavily armed.

Now two of those firearms, and one that belonged to frontierswoman “Calamity Jane,” go up for bidding in an auction scheduled to start Saturday in Fredericksburg. The items up for auction will go on public display on Friday.

Auction manager Tom Burks is a former curator of the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco. He says Villa “always carried a gun to the day of his death, and he didn’t care what it was.”

But one of them is a real beauty – a Remington single-action handgun engraved with a scroll pattern. It’ll clearly be the star of the auction since it has Villa’s real name, “Doreteo Arango,” engraved on one side of the barrel.

The American Legion and elementary kids make a great pair in this Veteran’s Day celebration held as their school, Indian Creek Elementary in Marion, Iowa.

Students create living flag | GazetteOnline.com – Cedar Rapids, Iowa City
studentusflag.jpgMARION – Indian Creek Elementary students honored veterans by creating a living American Flag this morning

A total of 358 kids and six teachers held up colored sheets of paper to form the American flag in the bleachers at Armstrong Field.

After members of American Legion Post 298 of Marion presented the colors, the children said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America” before holding up their own colors.

“Everybody had a job to do and everybody did it,” said Sally Reck, a teacher librarian who helped planned the event. “It was a team effort.”

The event was held in conjunction with Veteran’s Day on Sunday.

James Aalan Bersen talks about the Navy Day party held at the Al Faw Palace in Iraq. The 232nd anniversary of the United States Navy was October 13, 2007. Bersen also has a lot of pictures of the event.

James Aalan Bernsen: U.S. Navy Birthday Celebration
jamesaalanbersen.jpgA few weeks ago – Oct. 13 to be precise – we celebrated the U.S. Navy’s 132nd Birthday.

It was a Friday the 13, in 1775, when the Continental Congress – which had not yet declared independence, authorized the creation of a Navy for the coming struggle with England. The proclamation establishing the Navy was very short and to the point:

“Resolved, That a swift sailing vessel, to carry ten carriage guns, and a proportionable number of swivels, with eighty men, be fitted, with all possible despatch, for a cruise of three months, and that the commander be instructed to cruize eastward, for intercepting such transports as may be laden with warlike stores and other supplies for our enemies, and for such other purposes as the Congress shall direct.

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Old Glory still waving the flag

Have you ever heard of Brandenburg, Texas? How about New Brandenburg? No?

That’s because the town’s name changed a long time ago—at the beginning of World War I, in fact. The German settlers in this tiny little West Texas town wanted the nation to know that they were proud to be citizens of the United States, and what better way to show it than by changing the town’s name to Old Glory.

Old Glory, Texas is on U.S. Highway 380 between the Double Mountain Fork and the Salt Fork of the Brazos River. The town is in Stonewall County, five miles from the Haskell County line, and sixty miles north of Abilene.

Development began with a few ranches and scattered farms in the late 1880s. By 1904 a group of German Americans had settled east of what is now the townsite of Old Glory. They laid out the site for the town of Brandenburg, but only a schoolhouse and a general store were constructed. Other families continued to move into the area northwest of Brandenburg.

In 1909 the Stamford and Northwestern Railway Company was chartered to build a railroad from Stamford to Spur. The Swenson Land and Cattle Company provided a townsite on the rail line two miles west of the original Brandenburg site. The name of the new town became New Brandenburg, or simply Brandenburg, and the old community then became known as Old Brandenburg.

The new town grew with the coming of the railroad, and a mercantile store, a gin, and a post office soon served the community. A one-room school was constructed. At the beginning of World War I there was strong sentiment to change the name of the town, and residents chose the name Old Glory, which became official in 1918.

The population of Old Glory has waxed and waned through the years. Now only a small remnant remains, but Old Glory flies high in Old Glory and always will, so long as one person still lives there. The community celebrates Old Glory Days each year on June 30.

sign in Old Glory, Texas