Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Flag Day From Not Another New England Sports Blog!

Jeez....can't believe we're this far June (or 2013) already.

June 14th marks the occasion of Flag Day- perhaps the most underrated US holiday after Armed Forces Day (although the Army celebrates their birthday on the same Date). While President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 that recognized June 14th as Flag Day, this didn't necessarily mean that it would be a federal holiday.

Observance of the holiday varies from state-to-state- although since 1937, Pennsylvania is the only state that has recognized it as a state holiday. Cities like Quincy, MA or Troy, NY annually hold parades to mark the holiday- but the longest running celebration of Flag Day is actually the eastern Washington town of Fairfield which has been doing it for over 100 years.

Although during colonial times, different regions identified themselves using different flags [including the Gadsden Flag and Naval Ensign and Bennington Flag- which have seen a resurgence thanks to the Tea Party- NANESB!], the rebellious colonies began using the 'Grand Old Union' banner starting in 1775. The flag at the time utilized a series of 13 red and white horizontal stripes- each stripe representing a colony- while in the upper left corner was a Union Jack (the British flag). Oddly, the Grand Old Union flag bore an uncanny resemblance to the British East India Company banner a few decades later.

By 1777, the Grand Old Union Flag was abandoned in favor of something that would be a little more familiar- thirteen white stars on a blue background in the upper left corner. The next change would come in 1795, when Vermont and Kentucky were added to the union- giving the new Republic's banner 15 stars. This would happen each time a state joined the union, with the last such change that came to the US flag was in 1959, when Alaska and Hawaii were added as the newest US states, giving it a total of 50 stars.

Despite the fact that the textile industry in the USA has been in steep decline for decades, it's still possible to get American flags (or individual state flags) that are actually made in America thanks to New Jersey-based Anin Flagmakers, which operates plants in New Jersey, Virginia and Ohio.

And if those Anin flags are fortunate and play their cards right, they will end up being proudly displayed by gorgeous, scantily clad women in a very public venue- like these two bikini-clad Team USA fans seen above, rooting for the men's national team during matches in the 2006 FIFA World Cup over in Germany.

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