Flag, Flying or Raising

Flag, Flying or Raising


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Flag, Flying or Raising

Senior naval officers are known as Flag Officers. This is because they have the right to fly a special flag at the mast of the ship they are working from. In the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, admirals were still divided into three divisions – red, white and blue, an obsolete distinction based on the fleet tactics of the mid seventeenth century, when the entire fleet would serve together. The squadron system was finally abolished in 1864, when the entire fleet adopted the white ensign.

Each ship flew the ensign – red, white or blue depending on their squadron. This flag was flown at the flagstaff at the stern of the ship. The ensign had the union flag in the top corner, on the correct coloured background. The admiral’s flag was a simple coloured rectangle. Full admirals flew their flag on the main mast, vice admirals on the fore mast and rear admirals on the mizzen mast (the mast behind the main mast). Every flag officer was a member of one of the squadrons, although they didn’t always fly that colour flag in order to avoid confusion when two admirals of the same colour were serving in the same fleet. Every ship of the line carried flags for all three squadrons (as well as French, Spanish and Dutch flags, just in case!).

When an admiral transferred to a new ship, he was said to have ‘raised his flag’. From that moment he was ‘flying his flag’ on that ship. Thus, when Admiral Collingwood transferred to the Royal Sovereign before the battle of Trafalgar, he was said to have ‘raised his flag’ on her. Later, when he learnt of Nelson's death, Collingwood was able to transfer his flag to the frigage Euryalus, his own ship having been immobalised during the battle. Having 'raised his flag' on the new ship, the rest of the fleet would know where to look for orders.

Napoleonic Home Page | Books on the Napoleonic Wars | Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars


The American Flag

Learn when and how to display the American flag properly.

The U.S. flag stands for our nation and the shared history, pride, principles, and commitment of its people. When we properly display this powerful symbol, we signal our respect for everything it represents.

The flag shouldn't be flown in inclement weather unless it&rsquos an all-weather flag.

Flags displayed at night should be properly illuminated.

In a time of national mourning, hang the flag at half-mast.

The flag can be flown every day, but it is often flown to show patriotism on these observances:

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday

Washington's Birthday (Presidents Day)

National Vietnam War Veterans Day

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

From your porch, place the union (blue section) at the peak of the staff.

Against a wall or on a window, place the union (blue section) at the top left corner.

On your vehicle, clamp the staff to the right front fender.

With another flag, place the U.S. flag to your left when crossed.

Keep your flag completely dry and folded properly &mdash into a triangle, with the union (blue section) visible &mdash before storing it in a well-ventilated area. If the flag is damaged or worn out, it should be disposed of with dignity.

The flag should not touch anything below it or rest on the ground.

Source: United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1&ndashThe Flag


History of the Pride Flag

Colorful flags are flown at many LGBTQ+ events. The history of the Pride Flag goes back to the 1970s, and the design has changed numerous times over the years. Here’s a timeline of some of the major LGBTQ+ flags and what they stand for.

Gilbert Baker, a friend of San Fancisco’s openly gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk, designs the first rainbow flag. The eight-color flag first flew over the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June of 1978. From top to bottom, the colors represent sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, magic and art, serenity, and spirit.

The six-color flag enters popular use following the assassination of Harvey Milk.The hot pink stripe was eliminated over the difficulty obtaining the fabric. With only seven colors, activists noticed it was impossible to split in half to be displayed more easily in public, and so the turquoise stripe was eliminated as well. The six-color flag is the most common LGBTQ+ flag worldwide.

Michael Page designs the bisexual pride flag, a three-color design. Page explained that the pink represents same-sex sttraction, the blue represents opposite-sex attraction, and the purple overlap represents attraction to both.

Monica Helms, a transgender woman, creates the transgender pride flag. The light pink and blue represent the colors traditionally associated with girls and boys, and the white represents transitioning, neutral or undefined genders, and intersexuality. “[N]o matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives,” Helms said of the flag.

Following an outcry over racism in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood, the city commissioned the design of a new eight-color flag with black and brown stripes to recognize the contributions of LGBTQ+ people of color. The flag was unveiled at Philadelphia’s Pride celebration in 2017 and remains the official LGBTQ+ flag of the City of Philadelphia.

Designer Daniel Quasar creates the “Progress Flag”, which combines elements of the 2017 Philadelphia flag and the trans flag with the traditional rainbow flag. According to Quasar, the colors in the chevron represent trans individuals, people of color, those living with HIV/AIDS, and deceased members of the LGBTQ+ community.


Contents

The origin of the flag is unknown. [1] In antiquity, field signs or standards were used in warfare that can be categorised as vexilloid or 'flag-like'. This originated in ancient Egypt or Assyria. [2] Examples include the Sassanid battle standard Derafsh Kaviani, and the standards of the Roman legions such as the eagle of Augustus Caesar's Xth legion, or the dragon standard of the Sarmatians the latter was let fly freely in the wind, carried by a horseman, but judging from depictions it was more similar to an elongated dragon kite than to a simple flag.

Flags as recognized today, made of a piece of cloth representing a particular entity, were invented in the Indian subcontinent or Chinese Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BCE). Chinese flags depicted colorful animals and royal flags were to be treated with a similar level of respect attributed to the ruler. Indian flags were often triangular and decorated with attachments such as yak's tail and the state umbrella. These usages spread to Southeast Asia as well, and were transmitted to Europe through the Muslim world where plainly colored flags were being used due to Islamic proscriptions. [2]

In Europe, during the High Middle Ages, flags came to be used primarily as a heraldic device in battle, allowing more easily to identify a knight than only from the heraldic device painted on the shield. Already during the high medieval period, and increasingly during the Late Middle Ages, city states and communes such as those of the Old Swiss Confederacy also began to use flags as field signs. Regimental flags for individual units became commonplace during the Early Modern period.

During the peak of the age of sail, beginning in the early 17th century, it was customary (and later a legal requirement) for ships to carry flags designating their nationality [3] these flags eventually evolved into the national flags and maritime flags of today. Flags also became the preferred means of communications at sea, resulting in various systems of flag signals see, International maritime signal flags.

Use of flags outside of military or naval context begins only with the rise of nationalist sentiment by the end of the 18th century, although some flags date back earlier. The flags of countries such as Austria, Denmark or Turkey emerged from the midst of legend while many others, including those of Poland and Switzerland, grew out of the heraldic emblems of the Middle Ages. The 17th century saw the birth of several national flags through revolutionary struggle. One of these was the flag of the Netherlands, which appeared during the 80-year Dutch rebellion which began in 1568 against Spanish domination. [4]

Political change and social reform, allied to a growing sense of nationhood among ordinary people, led to the birth of new nations and flags all over the world in the 19th and 20th centuries. [5]

One of the most popular uses of a flag is to symbolise a nation or country. Some national flags have been particularly inspirational to other nations, countries, or subnational entities in the design of their own flags. Some prominent examples include:

  • The flag of Denmark, the Dannebrog, is attested in 1478, and is the oldest national flag still in use. It inspired the cross design of the other Nordic countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and regional Scandinavian flags for the Faroe Islands, Åland, Scania and Bornholm, as well as flags for the non-Scandinavian Shetland and Orkney. [6]
  • The flag of the Netherlands is the oldest tricolour. Its three colours of red, white and blue go back to Charlemagne's time, the 9th century. The coastal region of what today is the Netherlands was then known for its cloth in these colours. Maps from the early 16th century already put flags in these colours next to this region, like Texeira's map of 1520. A century before that, during the 15th century, the three colours were mentioned as the coastal signals for this area, with the three bands straight or diagonal, single or doubled. As state flag it first appeared around 1572 as the Prince's Flag in orange–white–blue. Soon the more famous red–white–blue began appearing, becoming the prevalent version from around 1630. Orange made a comeback during the civil war of the late 18th century, signifying the orangist or pro-stadtholder party. During World War II the pro-Nazi NSB used it. Any symbolism has been added later to the three colours, although the orange comes from the House of Orange-Nassau. This use of orange comes from Nassau, which today uses orange-blue, not from Orange, which today uses red-blue. However, the usual way to show the link with the House of Orange-Nassau is the orange pennant above the red-white-blue. It is said that the Dutch Tricolour has inspired [7] [citation needed] many flags but most notably those of Russia, New York City, and South Africa (the 1928–94 flag as well the current flag). As the probable inspiration for the Russian flag, it is the source too for the Pan-Slavic colours red, white and blue, adopted by many Slavic states and peoples as their symbols examples are Slovakia, Serbia, and Slovenia.
  • The national flag of France was designed in 1794. As a forerunner of revolution, France's tricolour flag style has been adopted by other nations. Examples: Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Romania and Mexico. [citation needed]
  • The Union Flag (Union Jack) of the United Kingdom is the most commonly used. British colonies typically flew a flag based on one of the ensigns based on this flag, and many former colonies have retained the design to acknowledge their cultural history. Examples: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Tuvalu, and also the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia, and the American state of Hawaii see commons:Flags based on British ensigns.
  • The flag of the United States is nicknamed The Stars and Stripes or Old Glory. [8] Some nations imitated this flag so as to symbolise their similarity to the United States and/or the American Revolution. Examples: Liberia, [9]Chile, Taiwan (ROC), and the French region of Brittany.
    was seen as a model by emerging African states of the 1950s and 1960s, as it was one of the oldest independent states in Africa. Accordingly, its flag became the source of the Pan-African colours, or 'Rasta colours'. Examples: Benin, Togo, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Guinea.
  • The flag of Turkey, which is very similar to the last flag of the old Ottoman Empire, has been an inspiration for the flag designs of many other Muslim nations. During the time of the Ottomans the crescent began to be associated with Islam and this is reflected on the flags of Algeria, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Libya, Mauritania, Pakistan, Tunisia and Maldives
  • The Pan-Arab colours, green, white, red and black, are derived from the flag of the Great Arab Revolt as seen on the flags of Jordan, Libya, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine.
  • The Soviet flag, with its golden symbols of the hammer and sickle on a red field, was an inspiration to flags of other communist states, such as East Germany, People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Angola, Afghanistan (1978–1980) and Mozambique.
  • The flag of Venezuela, created by Francisco de Miranda to represent the independence movement in Venezuela that later gave birth to the "Gran Colombia", inspired the flags of Colombia, Ecuador, and the Federal Territories in Malaysia, all sharing three bands of yellow, blue and red with the flag of Venezuela.
  • The flag of Argentina, created by Manuel Belgrano during the war of independence, was the inspiration for the United Provinces of Central America's flag, which in turn was the origin for the flags of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

National flag designs are often used to signify nationality in other forms, such as flag patches.

Civil flags

A civil flag is a version of the national flag that is flown by civilians on non-government installations or craft. The use of civil flags was more common in the past, in order to denote buildings or ships that were not manned by the military. In some countries the civil flag is the same as the war flag or state flag, but without the coat of arms, such as in the case of Spain, and in others it's an alteration of the war flag.

War flags

Several countries, including the British Army and the Royal Navy (White Ensign) of the United Kingdom (Great Britain) and the Soviet Union have had unique flags flown by their armed forces separately, rather than the national flag.

Other countries' armed forces (such as those of the United States or Switzerland) use their standard national flag, in addition, the U.S. has alongside flags and seals designed from long tradition for each of its six uniformed military services/military sub-departments in the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Philippines' armed forces may use their standard national flag, but during times of war the flag is turned upside down. Bulgaria's flag is also turned upside down during times of war. These are also considered war flags, though the terminology only applies to the flag's military usage.

Large versions of the war flag flown on the warships of countries' navies are known as battle ensigns. In addition besides flying the national standard or a military services' emblem flag at a military fort, base, station or post and at sea at the stern (rear) or main top mast of a warship, a Naval Jack flag and other Maritime flags, pennants and emblems are flown at the bow (front). In times of war waving a white flag is a banner of truce, talks/negotiations or surrender.

Four distinctive African flags currently in the collection of the National Maritime Museum in Britain were flown in action by Itsekiri ships under the control of Nana Olomu during the conflict in the late 19th century. One is the flag generally known as the Benin Empire flag and one is referred to as Nana Olomu's flag. [10]

International flags

Flags are particularly important at sea, where they can mean the difference between life and death, and consequently where the rules and regulations for the flying of flags are strictly enforced. A national flag flown at sea is known as an ensign. A courteous, peaceable merchant ship or yacht customarily flies its ensign (in the usual ensign position), together with the flag of whatever nation it is currently visiting at the mast (known as a courtesy flag). To fly one's ensign alone in foreign waters, a foreign port or in the face of a foreign warship traditionally indicates a willingness to fight, with cannon, for the right to do so. As of 2009, this custom is still taken seriously by many naval and port authorities and is readily enforced in many parts of the world by boarding, confiscation and other civil penalties. In some countries yacht ensigns are different from merchant ensigns in order to signal that the yacht is not carrying cargo that requires a customs declaration. Carrying commercial cargo on a boat with a yacht ensign is deemed to be smuggling in many jurisdictions. Traditionally, a vessel flying under the courtesy flag of a specific nation, regardless of the vessel's country of registry, is considered to be operating under the law of her 'host' nation.

There is a system of international maritime signal flags for numerals and letters of the alphabet. Each flag or pennant has a specific meaning when flown individually. As well, semaphore flags can be used to communicate on an ad hoc basis from ship to ship over short distances.

Another category of maritime flag flown by some United States Government ships is the distinguishing mark. Although the United States Coast Guard has its own service ensign, all other U.S. Government ships fly the national ensign their service ensign, following United States Navy practice. To distinguish themselves from ships of the Navy, such ships historically have flown their parent organisation's flag from a forward mast as a distinguishing mark. Today, for example, commissioned ships of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fly the NOAA flag as a distinguishing mark.

Flags are usually rectangular in shape (often in the ratio 2:3, 1:2, or 3:5), but may be of any shape or size that is practical for flying, including square, triangular, or swallow tailed. A more unusual flag shape is that of the flag of Nepal, which is in the shape of two stacked triangles. Other unusually shaped flags include the civil flags of Ohio (a swallowtail) Tampa, Florida and Pike County, Ohio. [11]

Many flags are dyed through and through to be inexpensive to manufacture, such that the reverse side is the mirror image of the obverse (front) side, generally the side displayed when, from the observer's point of view, the flag flies from pole-side left to right. This presents two possibilities:

  1. If the design is symmetrical in an axis parallel to the flag pole, obverse and reverse will be identical despite the mirror-reversal, such as the Indian Flag or Canadian Flag
  2. If not, the obverse and reverse will present two variants of the same design, one with the hoist on the left (usually considered the obverse side), the other with the hoist on the right (usually considered the reverse side of the flag). This is very common and usually not disturbing if there is no text in the design.

Some complex flag designs are not intended to be shown on both sides, requiring separate obverse and reverse sides if made correctly. In these cases there is a design element (usually text) which is not symmetric and should be read in the same direction, regardless of whether the hoist is to the viewer's left or right. These cases can be divided into two types:

  1. The same (asymmetric) design may be duplicated on both sides. Such flags can be manufactured by creating two identical through and through flags and then sewing them back to back, though this can affect the resulting combination's responsiveness to the wind. Depictions of such flags may be marked with the symbol , indicating the reverse is congruent to (rather than a mirror image of) the obverse.
  2. Rarely, the reverse design may differ, in whole or in part, from that of the obverse. Examples of flags whose reverse differs from the obverse include the flag of Paraguay, the flag of Oregon, and the historical flag of the Soviet Union. Depictions of such flags may be marked with the symbol .

Common designs on flags include crosses, stripes, and divisions of the surface, or field, into bands or quarters—patterns and principles mainly derived from heraldry. A heraldic coat of arms may also be flown as a banner of arms, as is done on both the state flag of Maryland and the flag of Kiribati.

The de jure flag of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi, which consisted of a rectangular field of green, was for a long period the only national flag using a single colour and no design or insignia. However, other historical states have also used flags without designs or insignia, such as the short-lived Soviet Republic of Hungary and the more recent Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, whose flags were both a plain field of red.

Colours are normally described with common names, such as "red", but may be further specified using colourimetry.

The largest flag flown from a flagpole worldwide, according to Guinness World Records, is the flag of the United Arab Emirates flown in Sharjah. This flag was 2,448.56 m 2 (26,356.1 sq ft). [12] The largest flag ever made was the flag of Qatar the flag, which measures at 101,978 m 2 (1,097,680 sq ft), was completed in December 2013 in Doha. [13]

Parts of a flag

The general parts of a flag are: canton (the upper inner section of the flag), field or ground (the entire flag except the canton), the hoist (the edge used to attach the flag to the hoist), and the fly (the furthest edge from the hoist end). [14]

Vertical flags

Vertical flags are sometimes used in lieu of the standard horizontal flag in central and eastern Europe, particularly in the German-speaking countries. This practice came about because the relatively brisk wind needed to display horizontal flags is not common in these countries. [15]

The standard horizontal flag (no. 1 in the preceding illustration) is nonetheless the form most often used even in these countries. [16]

The vertical flag (German: Hochformatflagge or Knatterflagge no. 2) is a vertical form of the standard flag. The flag's design may remain unchanged (No. 2a) or it may change, e.g. by changing horizontal stripes to vertical ones (no. 2b). If the flag carries an emblem, it may remain centred or may be shifted slightly upwards. [15] [17]

The vertical flag for hoisting from a beam (German: Auslegerflagge or Galgenflagge no. 3) is additionally attached to a horizontal beam, ensuring that it is fully displayed even if there is no wind. [15] [18]

The vertical flag for hoisting from a horizontal pole (German: Hängeflagge no. 4) is hoisted from a horizontal pole, normally attached to a building. The topmost stripe on the horizontal version of the flag faces away from the building. [15] [19]

The vertical flag for hoisting from a crossbar or banner (German: Bannerflagge no. 5) is firmly attached to a horizontal crossbar from which it is hoisted, either by a vertical pole (no. 5a) or a horizontal one (no. 5b). The topmost stripe on the horizontal version of the flag normally faces to the left. [15] [20]

Flags can play many different roles in religion. In Buddhism, prayer flags are used, usually in sets of five differently coloured flags. Several flags and banners including the Black Standard are associated with Islam. Many national flags and other flags include religious symbols such as the cross, the crescent, or a reference to a patron saint. Flags are also adopted by religious groups and flags such as the Jain flag, Nishan Sahib (Sikhism), the Saffron Flag (Hindu) and the Christian flag are used to represent a whole religion.

Poland (Gorzów Wlkp.). Religious flags

Because of their ease of signalling and identification, flags are often used in sports.

  • In association football, linesmen carry small flags along the touch lines. They use the flags to indicate to the referee potential infringements of the laws, or who is entitled to possession of the ball that has gone out of the field of play, or, most famously, raising the flag to indicate an offside offence. Officials called touch judges use flags for similar purposes in both codes of rugby.
  • In American and Canadian football, referees use penalty flags to indicate that a foul has been committed in game play. The phrase used for such an indication is flag on the play. The flag itself is a small, weighted handkerchief, tossed on the field at the approximate point of the infraction the intent is usually to sort out the details after the current play from scrimmage has concluded. In American football, the flag is usually yellow in Canadian football, it is usually orange. In the National Football League, coaches also use red challenge flags to indicate that they wish to contest a ruling on the field.
  • In yacht racing, flags are used to communicate information from the race committee boat to the racers. Different flags hoisted from the committee boat may communicate a false start, changes in the course, a cancelled race, or other important information. Racing boats themselves may also use flags to symbolise a protest or distress. The flags are often part of the nautical alphabetic system of International maritime signal flags, in which 26 different flags designate the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet.
  • In auto and motorcycle racing, racing flags are used to communicate with drivers. Most famously, a checkered flag of black and white squares indicates the end of the race, and victory for the leader. A yellow flag is used to indicate caution requiring slow speed and a red flag requires racers to stop immediately. A black flag is used to indicate penalties.
  • In addition, fans of almost all sports wave flags in the stands to indicate their support for the participants. Many sports teams have their own flags, and, in individual sports, fans will indicate their support for a player by waving the flag of his or her home country. is a popular children's sport.
  • In Gaelic football and Hurling a green flag is used to indicate a goal while a white flag is used to indicate a point
  • In Australian rules football, the goal umpire will wave two flags to indicate a goal (worth six points) and a single flag to indicate a behind (worth one point).
  • For safety, dive flags indicate the locations of underwater scuba divers or that diving operations are being conducted in the vicinity.
  • In water sports such as wakeboarding and Water-Skiing, an orange flag is held in between runs to indicate someone is in the water.
  • In golf, the hole is almost always marked with a flag. The flagpole is designed to fit centered within the base of the hole and is removable. Many courses will use colour-coded flags to determine a hole location at the front, middle or rear of the green. However colour-coded flags are not used in the professional tours. (A rare example of a golf course that does not use flags to mark the hole is the East Course of Merion Golf Club, which instead uses flagpoles topped by wicker baskets.)
  • Flag poles with flags of all shapes and sizes are used by marching bands, drum corps, and winter guard teams use flags as a method of visual enhancement in performances.

Some countries use diplomatic flags, such as the United Kingdom (see Image of the Embassy flag) and the Kingdom of Thailand (see Image of the Embassy flag).

The socialist movement uses red flags to represent their cause. The anarchist movement has a variety of different flags, but the primary flag associated with them is the black flag. In the Spanish civil war, the anarchists used the red-and-black bisected flag. In the 20th century, the rainbow flag was adopted as a symbol of the LGBT social movements. Its derivatives include the Bisexual pride and Transgender pride flags.

Some of these political flags have become national flags, such as the red flag of the Soviet Union and national socialist banners for Nazi Germany. The present Flag of Portugal is based on what had been the political flag of the Portuguese Republican Party previous to the 5 October 1910 revolution which brought this party to power.

Flags are often representative of an individual's affinity or allegiance to a country, team or business and can be presented in various ways. A popular trend that has surfaced revolves around the idea of the 'mobile' flag in which an individual displays their particular flag of choice on their vehicle. These items are commonly referred to as car flags and are usually manufactured from high strength polyester material and are attached to a vehicle via a polypropylene pole and clip window attachment.

In Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Philippines, Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, a pair of red-yellow flags is used to mark the limits of the bathing area on a beach, usually guarded by surf lifesavers. If the beach is closed, the poles of the flags are crossed. The flags are coloured with a red triangle and a yellow triangle making a rectangular flag, or a red rectangle over a yellow rectangle. On many Australian beaches there is a slight variation with beach condition signalling. A red flag signifies a closed beach (in the UK also other dangers), yellow signifies strong current or difficult swimming conditions, and green represents a beach safe for general swimming. In Ireland, a red and yellow flag indicates that it is safe to swim a red flag that it is unsafe and no flag indicates that there are no lifeguards on duty. Blue flags may also be used away from the yellow-red lifesaver area to designate a zone for surfboarding and other small, non-motorised watercraft.

Reasons for closing the beach include:

A surf flag exists, divided into four quadrants. The top left and bottom right quadrants are black, and the remaining area is white.

Signal flag "India" (a black circle on a yellow square) is frequently used to denote a "blackball" zone where surfboards cannot be used but other water activities are permitted.

Railways use a number of coloured flags. When used as wayside signals they usually use the following meanings (exact meanings are set by the individual railroad company):

  • red = stop
  • yellow = proceed with care
  • green or white = proceed.
  • a flag of any colour waved vigorously means stop
  • a blue flag on the side of a locomotive means that it should not be moved because someone is working on it (or on the train attached to it). A blue flag on a track means that nothing on that track should be moved. The flag can only be removed by the person or group that placed it. In the railway dominated steel industry this principle of "blue flag and tag" was extended to all operations at Bethlehem Steel, Lackawanna, New York. If a man went inside a large machine or worked on an electrical circuit for example, his blue flag and tag was sacrosanct. [21] The "Lock Out/Tag Out" practice is similar and now used in other industries to comply with safety regulations.

At night, the flags are replaced with lanterns showing the same colours.

Flags displayed on the front of a moving locomotive are an acceptable replacement for classification lights and usually have the following meanings (exact meanings are set by the individual railroad company):

  • white = extra (not on the timetable)
  • green = another section following
  • red = last section

Additionally, a railroad brakeman will typically carry a red flag to make his or her hand signals more visible to the engineer. Railway signals are a development of railway flags. [22]

A flagpole, flagmast, flagstaff, or staff can be a simple support made of wood or metal. If it is taller than can be easily reached to raise the flag, a cord is used, looping around a pulley at the top of the pole with the ends tied at the bottom. The flag is fixed to one lower end of the cord, and is then raised by pulling on the other end. The cord is then tightened and tied to the pole at the bottom. The pole is usually topped by a flat plate or ball called a "truck" (originally meant to keep a wooden pole from splitting) or a finial in a more complex shape. Very high flagpoles may require more complex support structures than a simple pole, such as a guyed mast.

Dwajasthambam are flagpoles commonly found at the entrances of South Indian Hindu temples. [23]

Record heights

Since 23 September 2014, the tallest free-standing flagpole in the world is the Jeddah Flagpole in Saudi Arabia at a height of 171 m (561 ft), exceeding the former record holder the Dushanbe Flagpole in Tajikistan [24] [25] (height: 165 m, 541 ft), National Flagpole in Azerbaijan (height: 162 m, 531 ft) [26] and the North Korean flagpole at Kijŏng-dong (height: 160 m, 520 ft). The flagpole in North Korea actually is a radio tower with a flag on top. Besides two flagpoles mentioned above, the previous six world-record flagpoles were all built by American company Trident Support, and the rest are in: Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: 133 m (436 ft) Aqaba, Jordan: 130 m (430 ft) Amman, Jordan: 126.8 m (416 ft) and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: 122 m (400 ft). [27]

The current tallest flagpole in India (and the tallest flying the tricolour) is the 110-metre (360 ft) flagpole in Belgaum, Karnataka which was first hoisted on 12 March 2018. [28] [29] The tallest flagpole in the United Kingdom from 1959 until 2013 stood in Kew Gardens. It was made from a Canadian Douglas-fir tree and was 68.5 m (225 ft) in height. [30]

The current tallest flagpole in the United States (and the tallest flying an American flag) is the 400-foot (120 m) pole completed before Memorial Day 2014 and custom-made with an 11-foot (3.4 m) base in concrete by wind turbine manufacturer Broadwind Energy. It is situated on the north side of the Acuity Insurance headquarters campus along Interstate 43 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and is visible from Cedar Grove. The pole can fly a 220-pound flag for in light wind conditions and a heavier 350-pound flag in higher wind conditions. [31]

Design

Flagpoles can be designed in one piece with a taper (typically a steel taper or a Greek entasis taper), [32] or be made from multiple pieces to make them able to expand. In the United States, ANSI/NAAMM guide specification FP-1001-97 covers the engineering design of metal flagpoles to ensure safety.


HAVANA, Cuba — There was subuded emotion as 67-year-old Barbara Amaro watched television coverage of the raising of the American flag at the reopened U.S. embassy here, but she felt its impact.

"Se me paran los pelos (I have goosebumps)," Amaro told NBC News Latino after the flag was run up the flagpole into a bright, blue sky and the U.S. national anthem was played as the flag flapped in the wind.

Amaro watched from the couch in the living room of the home of her son-in-law Alberto Amoros, 44.

Watching with them were Amoros' wife Ailen, her daughter Shakira Yairon his 14-year-old son from a previous marriage, and Ailen's father Angel Corcho. NBC News Latino joined them as they watched, some of the family.

They watched from a flat-screen television in their apartment in the working class neighborhood of La Lisa, located in the Havana municipality of Versalles and a few drank "cafecitos" while the ceremony took place about a half hour away from the apartment..

"I never thought I would see this. I do believe that we are very solidarios (unified),” Amaro said. “Somos un país que amamos la paz (We are a country that loves peace) and all I want is la union de los pueblos (a uniting of the people) and that we have exchanges of all types and experiences.”

Secretary of State John Kerry ticked off the list of historical U.S.-Cuba events that have taken place in Amaro's lifetime, straining, stretching thin and then severing ties between the countries: the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis.

"A whole generation of Americans have grown up and grown old," over those years, Kerry said.

He said Americans believe the nations will benefit from people of the two countries to learn more about one another and meet each other. When he spoke of people visiting one another in each other's country, smiles were exchanged between Ailen and Yairon, who lives with his mother in Hialeah, Fla.

"Establishment of diplomatic relations is not something one country does as a favor to another. It is something two countries do together when the citizens of both countries will benefit," Kerry said.


U.S. Navy Flag Usage and Ceremonies

The current regulatory provisions on morning and evening colors are in Article 1206 of Navy Regulations. They provide for the observance of the ceremony on all ships that are not under way and at all shore stations of the Navy and Marine Corps. Although few ships or shore stations have bands or buglers nowadays, the ceremonies are still conducted with as much formality as local resources will permit. At a minimum, the word is passed over the ship's loudspeaker system, the "1MC." The following is the sequence of events.

Morning Colors

Evening Colors

At ceremonial observances of evening colors ashore, when a band is present, "Retreat" may be sounded before the lowering of the flag, with the flag then lowered to the playing of the National Anthem. In this case, the salute is rendered only during the playing of the anthem and lowering of the ensign, not during the playing of "Retreat."
Return to top of page

Shifting Colors

  • the ensign at the flagstaff and the jack at the jackstaff are hauled down smartly (rapidly).
  • the steaming ensign is run up smartly to the gaff.
  • any flags or pennants that are displayed only when not under way, such as award pennants or the POW-MIA flag or the personal flag or pennant of an officer who is not aboard, are hauled down smartly.
  • the call sign is broken at the signal yard.

Ensign When Rendering Honors

  • upon arriving in a foreign port.
  • in honor of a foreign dignitary, official, or officer.
  • in honor of a foreign anniversary, celebration, or solemnity.

Note: As a practical matter, the distinction between flying the flag at the mainmast or foremast has now largely been lost, as almost all classes of ship in the modern Navy have only a single mast. However, there remain a few two-masted ships in which the distinction continues to be observed.

Mourning, Funeral, and Memorial Customs

Half-Masting the Ensign and Jack

When a flag is to be flown at half-mast, it is first hoisted briskly to the top of the pole (truck or peak aboard ship) then lowered just as briskly to the half-mast position. If the flag is half-masted at morning colors, the lowering takes place at the last note of "To the Colors" or the National Anthem. In naval use, the exact position of half-mast traditionally depends on the configuration of the mast or pole on which the flag is being flown. On a simple pole, half-mast has traditionally been considered to be one-quarter of the pole length below the top, although Department of Defense Directive 1005.6 now defines it for all the services as halfway. On the pole with crosstrees that is most commonly used at naval installations, a flag at half mast has its lower edge level with the crosstrees. An ensign displayed on a pole equipped with a gaff is flown from the gaff, with halfmast being halfway from the ground to the peak of the gaff. When a flag at half-mast is lowered, it is first returned to the truck or peak for a moment before being hauled down. When this is done in the context of evening colors, the raising of the flag to the truck is done before the signal for the salute or the sounding of "Retreat" or the National Anthem. Outside the United States, the flag is half-masted when ordered by the President even if the flag of another country is being flown at full-mast on an adjacent pole.

Ships not under way fly the union jack at half mast whenever the ensign is at half mast. The masthead ensigns used to dress or full-dress a ship are not half-masted.

  • Upon learning from any reliable source of the death of certain government dignitaries, as listed on the table of funeral honors, in accordance with Presidential Proclamation 3044 of March 1, 1954, Department of Defense Directive 1005.6, and Navy Regulations.
  • Upon the death of a member of the naval or military service, as provided by DoDD 1005.6 and Navy Regulations.
  • During burials at sea.
  • On Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, from 8:00 a.m. until 12:20 p.m., as described here. (Note that the practice in the sea services differs from that in the civilian community and in the Army and Air Force, where the flag is raised to the top of the pole at noon.)
  • All day on Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15, as required by 36 U.S. Code §127 and promulgated by DoDD 1005.6.
  • All day on National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, July 27 (only until 2003), as required by 36 U.S. Code §136 and promulgated by DoDD 1005.6.
  • When officially requested to do so by foreign authorities, while in foreign waters or in company with a foreign warship, in sympathy with the foreign country's mourning or commemoration (Article 1286, Navy Regulations ).
  • At other times as directed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of the Navy (or, for the Coast Guard, the Secretary of Transportation).
  • By ships passing Mount Vernon, Virginia, as described below.
Half-Masting While Passing Mount Vernon. Ships of the Navy and Coast Guard rarely visit Washington, D.C., any more, but when they do, they carry out a time-honored ceremony as they pass the tomb of George Washington, first President of the United States, at Mount Vernon, Virginia, some 15 miles downriver from the capital. In full form, the ceremony stipulated by article 1281 of Navy Regulations calls for parading the full guard and band, tolling the bell, and lowering the national ensign to half-mast. When the ship is directly opposite Washington's tomb, the guard presents arms, everyone on deck faces the tomb and salutes, and the bugler sounds "Taps." At the last note of "Taps," the ensign is closed up to the peak, the tolling of the bell ceases, and the band plays the National Anthem. "Carry on" is then sounded.

The first recorded instance of a ship of the Navy paying such a tribute was in May 1801, less than a year and a half after Washington's death, when the USS Congress lowered her sails, half-masted her ensign, and fired a 13-gun mourning salute as it passed the tomb. When President Theodore Roosevelt observed his Presidential yacht, the Mayflower, rendering similar honors in 1906, he ordered that the ceremony be officially mandated. This resulted in the issuance of General Order 22 of June 2, 1906, the original source of the provision in the modern Navy Regulations. The requirement for the National Anthem was added in 1913.

Of course, if few ships come as far up the Potomac as Mount Vernon, fewer still do so with a bugler and band aboard. Nevertheless, the honors are paid to the extent practicable. Typically, as the ship approaches Mount Vernon, all crew members not on watch are mustered topside, forming on the side facing the Virginia shore, and "Attention" is sounded. As the ship comes opposite the tomb, the signal for "hand salute" is given. The ensign is half-masted and the ship's bell is struck eight times at five-second intervals. After the eighth ring, the ensign is closed up to the peak. Two blasts are sounded on a whistle to end the salute and then three blasts to signal "carry on." In recent years it has also become customary for civilian vessels equipped with bells to toll them when entering the Mount Vernon approach channel.

Further information on this ceremony and its history can be found at the website of the Naval History Center.

Note on terminology: The United States Flag Code (Title 4, U.S. Code, Sec. 7) as well as Department of Defense, Army, and Air Force directives use the term "half-staff" rather than "half-mast." "Half-mast," however, is of much longer established usage in both American and British English, and it is the term officially used by the sea services.

Draping the National Ensign with Crepe

National Ensign at Funerals

In addition, deceased service members of the rank of master chief petty officer of the Navy and above are entitled to a color party carrying the national and Navy flags in the funeral procession.

For further discussion of the procedures used for naval funerals, including display of personal flags, see Mourning and Funerals.

Dressing Ship and Holiday Colors

To "full-dress" a ship, in addition to the large ensign at the stern, the jack, and an additional ensign at each masthead, a "rainbow" of signal flags and pennants arrayed from stem to stern, strung from the base of the jackstaff over the masts and then down to the base of the flagstaff. Ships that have no masts or an unsual mast configuration do the best they can to approximate the same effect. In the days of sail, a ship full-dressed by hanging every bit of bunting in its flag locker between the bowsprit and the mastheads, and down the shrouds and signal halyards (see the Sea Flags banner at the top of this page). This display usually included foreign ensigns, jacks, and admirals flags--everything the ship had on board. Nowadays, only signal flags are used, and the sequence in which they are displayed is precisely prescribed by directive--in the case of the U.S. Navy by NTP-13(B), Flags, Pennants and Customs. This guarantees a uniform appearance and ensures that no offensive or inappropriate messages are inadvertently (or mischievously) embedded in the display.

When a ship is dressed or full-dressed for a U.S. celebration, the ensigns at the mastheads are the Stars and Stripes. When it is dressed or full-dressed in honor of a foreign celebration, such as when a U.S. warship is present in a foreign port on a major foreign holiday, the foreign country's naval ensign is flown at the head of the mainmast. (See also Foreign Flags on U.S. Navy Ships.)

The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard do not dress or full-dress ship while under way, although some other navies, including the Royal Navy, do so on particularly special occasions.

On the same days that ships dress or full-dress, shore installations fly larger than usual ensigns, normally the next larger size than those flown on a daily basis. The exact size depends on the height of the flagpole. Holiday-size colors of 20 by 38 feet are used by installations with flagpoles of 55 feet or more (65 feet in the Marine Corps).

Days for Dressing Ship and Flying Holiday Colors

January 1 New Year's Day
January 20 Inauguration Day (every fourth year)
3rd Monday in Jan Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday
3rd Monday in Feb President's Day (Full-Dress)
(Variable) Easter Sunday
April 6 Army Day
2nd Sunday in May Mothers Day
3rd Saturday in May Armed Forces Day
May 22 National Maritime Day
Last Monday in May Memorial Day
June 14 Flag Day
July 4 Independence Day (Full-Dress)
1st Monday in Sept Labor Day
September 17 Constitution Day
3rd Friday in Sept National POW-MIA Day
2nd Monday in Oct Columbus Day
October 13 Navy Birthday (Full-Dress when ordered)
October 27 Navy Day
November 10 Marine Corps Birthday (Marine Corps only)
November 11 Veterans Day
4th Thursday in Nov Thanksgiving Day
December 25 Christmas Day

In addition to the days listed above, ships and installations fly holiday size colors on Sundays and on the anniversary of the admission to the Union of the state in which they are located, or on foreign holidays when in foreign waters or on foreign territory.

*If the President is aboard, his flag remains at the mainmast in lieu of the national ensign. If any other personal flag or pennant would ordinarily be flying at the mainmast, it is shifted to the foremast in lieu of the ensign that would be hoisted there or, if there is no foremast, to the starboard yardarm.

Dipping the Ensign

The procedure followed is that, as it approaches the warship, the merchant ship lowers its ensign to approximately a half-mast position and holds it there. The warship responds by lowering its own ensign at the moment the two ships reach their nearest point of approach, holding it there for an instant, then returning it to the peak of the gaff (under way) or truck of the flagstaff (not under way). The merchant ship then returns its own ensign to the peak or truck. When a warship receives a salute while it is not flying its ensign, such as in port before 8:00 a.m. or after sunset, or when steaming in peacetime out of sight of land, it hoists an ensign for the purpose of returning the salute, then lowers it again after the salute is concluded. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard return salutes only from vessels flying the U.S. flag or the flag of a nation formally recognized by the Government of the United States. Warships never initiate such a salute, nor do they dip to each other. Ships of the Military Sealift Command, however, do follow the merchant marine custom in dipping to men-of-war, and also answer salutes rendered to them by merchant ships. By Navy Regulations, submarines and or ships in which doing so would be hazardous for the crew are not required to dip the ensign.

Homeward Bound Pennant

The display of the homeward bound pennant is limited to ships that have been outside the United States continuously for 270 or more days. It is made up by the crew and flown in place of the normal commission pennant from the time the ship gets under way to proceed to a United States port until sunset on the day of arrival in the United States. The pennant is 200 times longer than its width at the hoist. Like the commission pennant, the homeward bound pennant consists of white stars on a blue field at the hoist, and is divided red over white at the fly. It has one star for the ship's first nine months continuously outside the United States, plus another star for each additional six months. The length of the pennant is one foot for each member of the crew who has been on duty outside the United States for nine months or more, not to exceed the length of the ship itself. Once the ship arrives home, the pennant is divided among the crew, with the captain getting the blue portion and the rest of the crew sharing the red and white portion equally.


The History And Meaning Of The Rainbow Pride Flag

Stroll across any number of cities throughout June, and you’ll find the near-ubiquitous presence of the rainbow pride flag, which has come to represent the LGBTQ community worldwide. This year alone, the iconic, six-stripe pattern has been seen in children’s books, at theme parks and on a seemingly endless series of clothing lines a revamped version of the design was worn by “Master of None” writer and star Lena Waithe as a “queer superhero” cape at the Met Gala last month in New York.

The original rainbow pride flag dates back to 1978, when it was created by San Francisco-based queer artist Gilbert Baker for a mere $1,000. A self-described “geeky kid from Kansas,” Baker relocated to San Francisco as an Army draftee in 1970. After an honorable discharge from the military, he decided to remain in the City by the Bay to pursue a design career.

In 1974, Baker’s life changed forever when he was introduced to rising queer activist Harvey Milk, who owned a camera shop in San Francisco’s Castro district. Milk, of course, would go on to win a seat as a San Francisco city supervisor in 1977, becoming the first openly gay man elected to public office in California in the process. Along with writer Cleve Jones and filmmaker Artie Bressan, Milk pressed Baker to create a recognizable emblem of empowerment for the queer community. The artist looked back to America’s bicentennial celebrations over the previous year for inspiration.

“As a community, both local and international, gay people were in the midst of an upheaval, a battle for equal rights, a shift in status where we were now demanding power, taking it. This was our new revolution: a tribal, individualistic, and collective vision. It deserved a new symbol,” Baker wrote in his as-yet-unpublished memoir, excerpts of which have appear on the Gilbert Baker Estate’s website.

“I thought of the American flag with its thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, the colonies breaking away from England to form the United States,” he wrote. “I thought of the vertical red, white, and blue tricolor from the French Revolution and how both flags owed their beginnings to a riot, a rebellion, or revolution. I thought a gay nation should have a flag too, to proclaim its own idea of power.”

Milk went on to ride under the original, eight-striped rainbow pride flag at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978, just months before he was assassinated. Over the next two years, the design was altered to its current, six-stripe version, but the flag’s all-inclusive message remained intact.

Baker, who died in 2017, never became rich from his design, but it has since been used to symbolize solidarity with LGBTQ movements not just in the U.S. but around the world.

In the years since its creation, the flag has generated a mythology of its own, which Baker “understood was something beyond his control,” according to close friend Charles Beal, who is also manager of creative projects at the Gilbert Baker Estate. “He purposely never copyrighted the flag because he wanted it to be owned by everyone.”

In honor of LGBTQ Pride month, Beal spoke with HuffPost to discuss the history of his friend’s flag.

When the rainbow pride flag was unveiled in 1978, its colors were hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo and violet.

Over the next two years, its design was changed for different reasons. At the time, hot pink was a non-standard color in flag fabric production, and deemed too costly to reproduce. The turquoise and indigo stripes were also dropped in favor of royal blue when organizers of San Francisco's Gay Freedom Day Parade wanted to split the flag in half to fly across the street and wanted equal stripes on both sides.

Throughout history, closeted gay men have used brightly colored clothing or accessories as a form of covert communication to signal their sexual interests and desires to other men. (Oscar Wilde, for instance, famously wore a green carnation.) In Nazi Germany, pink triangles were used to identify male prisoners who had been sent to concentration camps because of their homosexuality.

Baker saw the flag as a way of incorporating various colors into a single, coherent symbol. Of the pink triangle, he later wrote. "It functioned as a Nazi tool of oppression. We all felt that we needed something that was positive, that celebrated our love."

One of the most persistent myths about the flag is that it was an intentional reference to &ldquoOver the Rainbow,&rdquo the Oscar-winning song from the classic 1939 film, &ldquoThe Wizard of Oz.&rdquo

Not so, says Beal &ndash though there&rsquos a likely explanation for the confusion. The movie&rsquos star, Judy Garland, was beloved by gay audiences during her lifetime and remains a queer icon. Garland also is often culturally linked to the Stonewall riots, which are considered the start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement and took place on June 28, 1969 &ndash less than 24 hours after her funeral.

Baker, Beal said, wasn&rsquot bothered by this misconception and found it somewhat endearing. Like the fictional Dorothy, he was raised in Kansas.

Though the rainbow flag is his best-known creation, Baker worked for San Francisco's now-defunct Paramount Flag Company for years.

Later in life, he worked as a freelance designer, and created flags for the 1984 Democratic National Convention and Super Bowl XIX in 1985, among other occasions.

Baker set a world record in 2003 to mark the rainbow flag's 25th anniversary, creating a 1- and 1/4-mile-long version unfurled at Florida's Key West Pride that same year.

The artist restored the original hot pink, turquoise and indigo stripes for the massive flag, which was chronicled in the 2004 documentary, &ldquoRainbow Pride.&rdquo After the celebrations in Key West ended, the flag was cut into sections and distributed to more than 100 cities around the world.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. The White House celebrated the ruling by illuminating its façade in rainbow colors, as did New York's Empire State Building, San Francisco&rsquos City Hall and Walt Disney World&rsquos Cinderella Castle.

Seeing the illumination of those landmarks &ldquoblew Baker&rsquos mind,&rdquo Beal said. &ldquoI think he was overwhelmed with joy that this flag made by hippies&hellip in San Francisco had become a permanent worldwide symbol.&rdquo

Baker was especially forever grateful to Jeff Tiller, who was then the White House&rsquos associate communications director and reportedly conceived the idea.

&ldquo[Tiller] really lit the fuse,&rdquo Beal said.

Weeks ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Trump hoisted an upside-down rainbow flag on which the words &ldquoLGBT for Trump&rdquo had been scribbled in black marker at a rally in Greeley, Colorado.

The move seemed out of place, given both the tone of Trump&rsquos campaign and his vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, who has a record of opposition to LGBTQ rights.

Baker responded to Trump&rsquos election, Beal said, by creating a nine-color rainbow flag with a lavender stripe added for diversity. He also unveiled an art installation of concentration camp-style uniforms emblazoned with oversize pink triangles that was displayed at a San Francisco gallery.

&ldquoThat&rsquos how much he feared the Trump regime,&rdquo Beal said.

In 2017, Philadelphia unveiled a new flag with black and brown stripes added to represent people of color who previously felt &rdquomarginalized, ignored, and even intentionally excluded" from its Pride celebrations.

Philly's flag was created after a series of complaints against LGBTQ bars in the city, some of which had allegedly denied entry to people of color based on vague dress codes. The revised flag sparked controversy among some critics, who viewed adding stripes to Baker's original design as disrespectful.

This was the version Waithe (in the photo immediately above) wore to the Met Ball.

As for Baker, "he would have loved it," Beal said. "He was not precious about how the flag was used -- he might have added those colors to the flag himself for them."

#TheFutureIsQueer is HuffPost’s monthlong celebration of queerness, not just as an identity but as action in the world. Find all of our Pride Month coverage here.


Contents

On February 19, 1945, the United States invaded Iwo Jima as part of its island-hopping strategy to defeat Japan. Iwo Jima originally was not a target, but the relatively quick fall of the Philippines left the Americans with a longer-than-expected lull prior to the planned invasion of Okinawa. Iwo Jima is located halfway between Japan and the Mariana Islands, where American long-range bombers were based, and was used by the Japanese as an early warning station, radioing warnings of incoming American bombers to the Japanese homeland. The Americans, after capturing the island, weakened the Japanese early warning system, and used it as an emergency landing strip for damaged bombers. [5]

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island, shaped like a trapezoid. Marines on the island described it as "a large, gray pork chop". [6] The island was heavily fortified, and the invading Marines suffered high casualties. Politically, the island is part of the prefecture of Tokyo. It would be the first Japanese homeland soil to be captured by the Americans, and it was a matter of honor for the Japanese to prevent its capture. [7]

The island is dominated by Mount Suribachi, a 546-foot (166 m) dormant volcanic cone at the southern tip of the island. Tactically, the top of Suribachi was one of the most important locations on the island. From that vantage point, the Japanese defenders were able to spot artillery accurately onto the Americans—particularly the landing beaches. The Japanese fought most of the battle from underground bunkers and pillboxes. It was common for Marines to disable a pillbox using grenades or flamethrowers, only to come under renewed fire from it a few minutes later, after replacement Japanese infantry arrived into the pillbox through a tunnel. The American effort concentrated on isolating and capturing Suribachi first, a goal that was achieved on February 23, four days after the battle began. Despite capturing Suribachi, the battle continued to rage for many days, and the island would not be declared "secure" until 31 days later, on March 26. [8]

There were two American flags raised on top of Mount Suribachi, on February 23, 1945. The photograph Rosenthal took was actually of the second flag-raising, in which a larger replacement flag was raised by different Marines than those who raised the first flag. [9] : xix-xxi

Raising the first flag Edit

A U.S. flag was first raised atop Mount Suribachi soon after the mountaintop was captured at around 10:20 a.m. on February 23, 1945. [9] : 48

Lieutenant Colonel Chandler W. Johnson, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, ordered Marine Captain Dave Severance, commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, to send a platoon to seize and occupy the crest of Mount Suribachi. [11] First Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier, executive officer of Easy Company, who had replaced the wounded Third Platoon commander, John Keith Wells, [12] volunteered to lead a 40-man combat patrol up the mountain. Lieutenant Colonel Johnson (or 1st Lieutenant George G. Wells, the battalion adjutant, whose job it was to carry the flag) had taken the 54-by-28-inch/140-by-71-centimeter flag from the battalion's transport ship, USS Missoula, and handed the flag to Schrier. [13] [14] Johnson said to Schrier, "If you get to the top, put it up." Schrier assembled the patrol at 8 a.m. to begin the climb up the mountain.

Despite the large numbers of Japanese troops in the immediate vicinity, Schrier's patrol made it to the rim of the crater at about 10:15 a.m., having come under little or no enemy fire, as the Japanese were being bombarded at the time. [15] The flag was attached by Schrier and two Marines to a Japanese iron water pipe found on top, and the flagstaff was raised and planted by Schrier, assisted by Platoon Sergeant Ernest Thomas and Sergeant Oliver Hansen (the platoon guide) at about 10:30 a.m. [10] (On February 25, during a CBS press interview aboard the flagship USS Eldorado about the flag-raising, Thomas stated that he, Schrier, and Hansen had actually raised the flag.) [16] The raising of the national colors immediately caused a loud cheering reaction from the Marines, sailors, and coast guardsmen on the beach below and from the men on the ships near the beach. The loud noise made by the servicemen and blasts of the ship horns alerted the Japanese, who up to this point had stayed in their cave bunkers. Schrier and his men near the flagstaff then came under fire from Japanese troops, but the Marines quickly eliminated the threat. [9] : 15 Schrier was later awarded the Navy Cross for volunteering to take the patrol up Mount Suribachi and raising the American flag, and a Silver Star Medal for a heroic action in March while in command of D Company, 2/28 Marines on Iwo Jima.

Photographs of the first flag flown on Mount Suribachi were taken by Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery of Leatherneck magazine, who accompanied the patrol up the mountain, and other photographers afterwards. [17] [18] Others involved with the first flag-raising include Corporal Charles W. Lindberg (who also helped raise the flag), [19] Privates First Class James Michels, Harold Schultz, Raymond Jacobs (F Company radioman), Private Phil Ward, and Navy corpsman John Bradley. [20] [21] This flag was too small, however, to be easily seen from the northern side of Mount Suribachi, where heavy fighting would go on for several more days.

The Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, had decided the previous night that he wanted to go ashore and witness the final stage of the fight for the mountain. Now, under a stern commitment to take orders from Howlin' Mad Smith, the secretary was churning ashore in the company of the blunt, earthy general. Their boat touched the beach just after the flag went up, and the mood among the high command turned jubilant. Gazing upward, at the red, white, and blue speck, Forrestal remarked to Smith: "Holland, the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years". [22] [23]

Forrestal was so taken with fervor of the moment that he decided he wanted the Second Battalion's flag flying on Mt. Suribachi as a souvenir. The news of this wish did not sit well with 2nd Battalion Commander Chandler Johnson, whose temperament was every bit as fiery as Howlin Mad's. "To hell with that!" the colonel spat when the message reached him. The flag belonged to the battalion, as far as Johnson was concerned. He decided to secure it as soon as possible, and dispatched his assistant operations officer, Lieutenant Ted Tuttle, to the beach to obtain a replacement flag. As an afterthought, Johnson called after Tuttle: "And make it a bigger one." [24]

Raising the second flag Edit

The photograph taken by Rosenthal was the second flag-raising on top of Mount Suribachi, on February 23, 1945. [9] : xix

On orders from Colonel Chandler Johnson—passed on by Easy Company's commander, Captain Dave Severance—Sergeant Michael Strank, one of Second Platoon's squad leaders, was to take three members of his rifle squad (Corporal Harlon H. Block and Privates First Class Franklin R. Sousley and Ira H. Hayes) and climb up Mount Suribachi to raise a replacement flag on top the three took supplies or laid telephone wire on the way to the top. Severance also dispatched Private First Class Rene A. Gagnon, the battalion runner (messenger) for Easy Company, to the command post for fresh SCR-300 walkie-talkie batteries to be taken to the top. [25]

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Albert Theodore Tuttle [24] under Johnson's orders, had found a large (96-by-56–inch) flag in nearby Tank Landing Ship USS LST-779. He made his way back to the command post and gave it to Johnson. Johnson, in turn, gave it to Rene Gagnon, with orders to take it up to Schrier on Mount Suribachi and raise it. [26] The official Marine Corps history of the event is that Tuttle received the flag from Navy Ensign Alan Wood of USS LST-779, who in turn had received the flag from a supply depot in Pearl Harbor. [27] [28] [29] Severance had confirmed that the second larger flag was in fact provided by Alan Wood even though Wood could not recognize any of the pictures of the second flag's raisers as Gagnon. [30] The flag was sewn by Mabel Sauvageau, a worker at the "flag loft" of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. [31]

First Lieutenant George Greeley Wells, who had been the Second Battalion, 28th Marines adjutant officially in charge of the two American flags flown on Mount Suribachi, stated in The New York Times in 1991 that Lieutenant Colonel Johnson ordered Wells to get the second flag, and that Wells sent Rene Gagnon, his battalion runner, to the ships on shore for the flag. Wells said that Gagnon returned with a flag and gave it to him, and that Gagnon took this flag up Mt. Suribachi with a message for Schrier to raise it and send the other flag down with Gagnon. Wells stated that he received the first flag back from Gagnon and secured it at the Marine headquarters command post. Wells also stated that he had handed the first flag to Lieutenant Schrier to take up Mount Suribachi. [13]

The Coast Guard Historian's Office recognizes the claims made by former U.S. Coast Guardsman Quartermaster Robert Resnick, who served aboard the USS Duval County at Iwo Jima. "Before he died in November 2004, Resnick said Gagnon came aboard LST-758 [32] the morning of February 23 looking for a flag. [33] Resnick said he grabbed a flag from a bunting box and asked permission from his ship's commanding officer Lt. Felix Molenda to donate it. [34] Resnick kept quiet about his participation until 2001." [35] [36]

Rosenthal's photograph Edit

Gagnon, Strank, and Strank's three Marines reached the top of the mountain around noon without being fired upon. Rosenthal, along with Marine photographers Sergeant Bill Genaust (who was killed in action after the flag-raising) and Private First Class Bob Campbell [37] were climbing Suribachi at this time. On the way up, the trio met Lowery, who had photographed the first flag-raising, coming down. They considered turning around, but Lowery told them that the summit was an excellent vantage point from which to take photographs. [38] The three photographers reached the summit as the Marines were attaching the flag to an old Japanese water pipe.

Rosenthal put his Speed Graphic camera on the ground (set to 1/400 sec shutter speed, with the f-stop between 8 and 11 and Agfa film [39] [40] ) so he could pile rocks to stand on for a better vantage point. In doing so, he nearly missed the shot. The Marines began raising the flag. Realizing he was about to miss the action, Rosenthal quickly swung his camera up and snapped the photograph without using the viewfinder. [41] Ten years after the flag-raising, Rosenthal wrote:

Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the men start the flag up. I swung my camera and shot the scene. That is how the picture was taken, and when you take a picture like that, you don't come away saying you got a great shot. You don't know. [40]

Sergeant Genaust, who was standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder with Rosenthal about three feet away, [40] was shooting motion-picture film during the second flag-raising. His film captures the second event at an almost-identical angle to Rosenthal's shot. Of the six flag-raisers in the picture—Ira Hayes, Harold Schultz (identified in June 2016), Michael Strank, Franklin Sousley, Harold Keller (identified in 2019), and Harlon Block—only Hayes, Keller (Marine corporal Rene Gagnon was incorrectly identified in the Rosenthal flag-raising photo), and Schultz (Navy corpsman John Bradley was incorrectly identified) survived the battle. [2] Strank and Block were killed on March 1, six days after the flag-raising, Strank by a shell, possibly fired from an offshore American destroyer and Block a few hours later by a mortar round. [9] : 18 Sousley was shot and killed by a Japanese sniper on March 21, a few days before the island was declared secure. [9] : 23

Following the flag-raising, Rosenthal sent his film to Guam to be developed and printed. [42] George Tjaden of Hendricks, Minnesota, was likely the technician who printed it. [43] Upon seeing it, Associated Press (AP) photograph editor John Bodkin exclaimed "Here's one for all time!" and immediately transmitted the image to the AP headquarters in New York City at 7:00 am, Eastern War Time. [44] The photograph was quickly picked up off the wire by hundreds of newspapers. It "was distributed by Associated Press within seventeen and one-half hours after Rosenthal shot it—an astonishingly fast turnaround time in those days." [45]

However, the photograph was not without controversy. Following the second flag-raising, Rosenthal had the Marines of Easy Company pose for a group shot, the "gung-ho" shot. [46] A few days after the photograph was taken, Rosenthal—back on Guam—was asked if he had posed the photograph. Thinking the questioner was referring to the 'gung-ho' photograph, he replied "Sure." After that, Robert Sherrod, a Time-Life correspondent, told his editors in New York that Rosenthal had staged the flag-raising photograph. Time's radio show, Time Views the News, broadcast a report, charging that "Rosenthal climbed Suribachi after the flag had already been planted. . Like most photographers [he] could not resist reposing his characters in historic fashion." [47] As a result of this report, Rosenthal was repeatedly accused of staging the photograph or covering up the first flag-raising. One New York Times book reviewer even went so far as to suggest revoking his Pulitzer Prize. [47] In the following decades, Rosenthal repeatedly and vociferously denied claims that the flag-raising was staged. "I don't think it is in me to do much more of this sort of thing . I don't know how to get across to anybody what 50 years of constant repetition means," he said in 1995. [47]

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, upon seeing Rosenthal's flag-raising photograph, saw its potential to use for the upcoming Seventh War Loan Drive to help fund the war effort. He then ordered the flag-raisers to be identified and sent to Washington, D.C. after the fighting on the island ended (March 26, 1945). [9] : xviii

Rosenthal did not take the names of those in the photograph. On April 7, Rene Gagnon was the first of the second "flag-raisers" to arrive in Washington, D.C. Using an enlargement of the photograph that did not show the faces of the flag-raisers, he named himself, Henry Hansen, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Michael Strank, as being in the photograph. He initially refused to name Ira Hayes, as Hayes did not want the publicity and threatened him with physical harm. [48] However, upon being summoned to Marine headquarters and told that refusal to name the last flag-raiser was a serious crime, he identified the sixth flag-raiser as Hayes.

President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. On April 19, Bradley (then on crutches) and Hayes arrived in Washington, D.C. On April 20, the three surviving second flag-raisers, identified then as Gagnon, Bradley, and Hayes, met President Truman in the White House. On May 9, during a ceremony at the nation's capitol, the three men raised the original second flag to initiate the bond tour which began on May 11 in New York City. On May 24, Hayes was taken off the tour due to problems caused by drinking alcohol and ordered back to his company and regiment which had returned to Hawaii. Gagnon and Bradley completed the tour which ended on July 4 in Washington, D.C. The bond drive was a success, raising $26.3 billion, twice the tour's goal. [49]

Harlon Block and Henry Hansen Edit

Gagnon misidentified Corporal Harlon Block as Sergeant Henry O. "Hank" Hansen in Rosenthal's photo (both were killed in action on March 1). Initially, Bradley concurred with all of Gagnon's identifications. On April 8, 1945, the Marine Corps released the identification of five of the six flag raisers, including Hansen rather than Block (Sousley's identity was temporarily withheld pending notification of his family of his death during the battle.) Block's mother, Belle Block, refused to accept the official identification, noting that she had "changed so many diapers on that boy's butt, I know it's my boy." [50] When Hayes was interviewed about the identities of the flag raisers and shown a photo of the flag raising by a Marine public relations officer on April 19, he told the officer that it was definitely Harlon Block and not Hansen at the base of the flagpole. The lieutenant colonel then told Hayes that the identifications had already been officially released, and ordered Hayes to keep silent about it [51] (during the investigation, the colonel denied Hayes told him about Block). Block, Sousley, and Hayes were close friends in the same squad of Second Platoon, E Company, while Hansen, who helped raise the first flag, was a member of Third Platoon, E Company.

In 1946, Hayes hitchhiked to Texas and informed Block's parents that their son had, in fact, been one of the six flag raisers. [52] Block's mother, Belle, immediately sent the letter that Hayes had given her to her congressional representative Milton West. West, in turn, forwarded the letter to Marine Corps Commandant Alexander Vandegrift, who ordered an investigation. John Bradley (formerly in Third Platoon with Hansen), upon being shown the evidence (Hansen, a former Paramarine, wore his large parachutist boots in an exposed manner on Iwo Jima), agreed that it was probably Block and not Hansen. [53] In January 1947, the Marine Corps officially announced it was Block in the photograph and not Hansen at the base of the flagpole. Hayes also was named as being in the far left position of the flag raisers replacing the position Sousley was determined to have had up until then Sousley was now in back of and to the right of Strank (in 2016, Harold Schutz was named in this position and Sousley was named in the position where Bradley was named).

Ira remembered what Rene Gagnon and John Bradley could not have remembered, because they did not join the little cluster until the last moment: that it was Harlon [Block], Mike [Strank], Franklin [Sousley] and [Hayes] who had ascended Suribachi midmorning to lay telephone wire it was Rene [Gagnon] who had come along with the replacement flag. Hansen had not been part of this action. [54]

Harold H. Schultz and John Bradley Edit

On June 23, 2016, the Marine Corps publicly announced that Marine Corporal (then Private First Class) Harold Schultz was one of the flag-raisers and Navy corpsman John Bradley was not one of the flag-raisers in Rosenthal's second flag-raising photograph. Harold Schultz was identified as being in Franklin Sousley's position to the right and in front of Ira Hayes, and Sousley was identified as being in Bradley's position to the right and behind Rene Gagnon (identified as Harold Keller in 2019) behind Harlon Block at the base of the flagpole. [2] Bradley and Schultz had been present when both flags were actually raised, while Sousley was only on Mount Suribachi when he helped raise the second flag. Schultz was also part of the group of Marines and corpsmen who posed for Rosenthal's second "gung ho" photo.

Bradley, who died in 1994, seldom did an interview about the famous second flag-raising, occasionally deflecting questions by claiming he had forgotten. [55] He changed his story numerous times, saying that he raised or pitched in to raise the flag, and also that he was on, and not on, Mount Suribachi when the first flag was raised. [56] Within his family, it was considered a taboo subject, and when they received calls or invitations to speak on certain holidays, they were told to say he was away fishing at his cottage. At the time of Bradley's death, his son James said that he knew almost nothing about his father's wartime experiences. [50] James Bradley spent four years interviewing and researching the topic and published a nonfiction book entitled Flags of Our Fathers (2000) about the flag-raising and its participants. [57] The book, which was a bestseller, was later adapted into a 2006 film of the same name, directed by Clint Eastwood.

After being honorably discharged, Schultz moved to California and made his career with the United States Postal Service. He died in 1995.

The possibility that any flag-raiser had been misidentified was publicly raised for the first time in November 2014 by Eric Krelle, an amateur historian and collector of World War II-era Marine Corps memorabilia, and an Irish citizen and amateur historian named Stephen Foley. [58] Studying other photographs taken that day and video footage, Krelle and Foley argued that Franklin Sousley was in the fourth position (left to right) instead of Bradley and Harold Schultz of Los Angeles (originally from Detroit) was in the second position, previously identified as Sousley. [58] Initially, Marine Corps historians and officials did not accept those findings, but began their own investigation. [59] On June 23, 2016, they confirmed Krelle's and Foley's findings, stating that Schultz was in Sousley's place, Sousley was standing next to Block, and that Bradley was not in the photo at all. [60] James Bradley has also changed his mind, stating that he no longer believes his father is depicted in the famous photograph. [61] [62] [63]

Harold Keller and Rene Gagnon Edit

On October 16, 2019, the Marine Corps announced that Marine Corporal Harold Keller was the flag-raiser previously identified as Rene Gagnon in the Rosenthal's photograph. Stephen Foley, filmmaker Dustin Spence, and Brent Westemeyer were key to this revised identification. Photos and video footage showed that the man (originally identified as Gagnon) had a wedding ring, which matched Keller, who had married in 1944 (Gagnon was not married at the time). The man also did not have a facial mole, as Gagnon did. Finally, a photo which captured the lowering of the first flag verified what Gagnon had looked like that day, which did not match the second man in the Rosenthal photo. [64]

Rosenthal's photograph was used as the basis for C. C. Beall's poster Now. All Together for the Seventh War Loan Drive (14 May - 30 June 1945). [9] : 63–5

Rosenthal's photograph won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Photography, the only photograph to win the prize in the same year it was taken. [65]

News pros were not the only ones greatly impressed by the photo. Navy Captain T.B. Clark was on duty at Patuxent Air Station in Maryland that Saturday when it came humming off the wire in 1945. He studied it for a minute, and then thrust it under the gaze of Navy Petty Officer Felix de Weldon. De Weldon was an Austrian immigrant schooled in European painting and sculpture. De Weldon could not take his eyes off the photo. In its classic triangular lines he recognized similarities with the ancient statues he had studied. He reflexively reached for some sculptor's clay and tools. With the photograph before him he labored through the night. Within 72 hours of the photo's release, he had replicated the six boys pushing a pole, raising a flag. [44] [66]

Upon seeing the finished model, the Marine Corps commandant had de Weldon assigned to the Marine Corps [67] until de Weldon was discharged from the navy after the war was over.

Starting in 1951, de Weldon was commissioned to design a memorial to the Marine Corps. It took de Weldon and hundreds of his assistants three years to finish it. Hayes, Gagnon, and Bradley, posed for de Weldon, who used their faces as a model. The three Marine flag raisers who did not survive the battle were sculpted from photographs. [68]

The flag-raising Rosenthal (and Genaust) photographed was the replacement flag/flagstaff for the first flag/flagstaff that was raised on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945. There was some resentment from former Marines of the original 40-man patrol that went up Mount Suribachi including by those involved with the first flag-raising, that they did not receive the recognition they deserved. These included Staff Sgt. Lou Lowery, who took the first photos of the first flag flying over Mt. Suribachi Charles W. Lindberg, who helped tie the first American flag to the first flagpole on Mount Suribachi (and who was, until his death in June 2007, one of the last living persons depicted in either flag-flying scene), [69] who complained for several years that he helped to raise the flag and "was called a liar and everything else. It was terrible" (because of all the recognition and publicity over and directed to the replacement flag-raisers and that flag-raising) [70] and Raymond Jacobs, photographed with the patrol commander around the base of the first flag flying over Mt. Suribachi, who complained until he died in 2008 that he was still not recognized by the Marine Corps by name as being the radioman in the photo.

The original Rosenthal photograph is currently in the possession of Roy H. Williams, who bought it from the estate of John Faber, the official historian for the National Press Photographers Association, who had received it from Rosenthal. [71] Both flags (from the first and second flag-raisings) are now located in the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. [72]

Ira Hayes, following the war, was plagued with depression brought on by survivor guilt and became an alcoholic. His tragic life, and death in 1955 at the age of 32, were memorialized in the 1961 motion picture The Outsider, starring Tony Curtis as Hayes, and the folk song "The Ballad of Ira Hayes", written by Peter LaFarge and recorded by Johnny Cash in 1964. [73] Bob Dylan later covered the song, as did Kinky Friedman. [74] According to the song, after the war:

Then Ira started drinkin' hard
Jail was often his home
They'd let him raise the flag and lower it
Like you'd throw a dog a bone!
He died drunk early one mornin'
Alone in the land he fought to save
Two inches of water in a lonely ditch
Was a grave for Ira Hayes.

Rene Gagnon, his wife, and his son visited Tokyo and Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima during the 20th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima in 1965. [75] After the war, he worked at Delta Air Lines as a ticket agent, opened his own travel agency, and was a maintenance director of an apartment complex in Manchester, New Hampshire. He died while at work in 1979, age 54. [25] [76]

In other media Edit

Rosenthal's photograph has been reproduced in a number of other formats. It appeared on 3.5 million posters for the seventh war bond drive. [47] It has also been reproduced with many unconventional media such as Lego bricks, butter, ice, Etch A Sketch and corn mazes. [77]

The Iwo Jima flag-raising has been depicted in other films including 1949's Sands of Iwo Jima (in which the three surviving flag raisers make a cameo appearance at the end of the film) and 1961's The Outsider, a biography of Ira Hayes starring Tony Curtis. [78]

In July 1945, the United States Postal Service released a postage stamp bearing the image. [79] The U.S. issued another stamp in 1995 showing the flag-raising as part of its 10-stamp series marking the 50th anniversary of World War II. [79] In 2005, the United States Mint released a commemorative silver dollar bearing the image.

A similar photograph was taken by Thomas E. Franklin of the Bergen Record in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Officially known as Ground Zero Spirit, the photograph is perhaps better known as Raising the Flag at Ground Zero, and shows three firefighters raising a U.S. flag in the ruins of the World Trade Center shortly after 5 pm. [80] Painter Jamie Wyeth also painted a related image entitled September 11th based on this scene. It illustrates rescue workers raising a flag at Ground Zero. Other iconic photographs frequently compared include V–J day in Times Square, Into the Jaws of Death, Raising a flag over the Reichstag, and the Raising of the Ink Flag. [81]

The highly recognizable image is one of the most parodied photographs in history. [77] Anti-war activists in the 1960s altered the flag to bear a peace symbol, as well as several anti-establishment artworks. [82] Edward Kienholz's Portable War Memorial in 1968 depicted faceless Marines raising the flag on an outdoor picnic table in a typical American consumerist environment of the 1960s. [83] [84] It was parodied again during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 to depict the flag being planted into Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's behind. [82] In the early 2000s, to represent gay pride, photographer Ed Freeman shot a photograph [85] for the cover of an issue of Frontiers magazine, reenacting the scene with a rainbow flag instead of an American flag. [86] Time magazine came under fire in 2008 after altering the image for use on its cover, replacing the American flag with a tree for an issue focused on global warming. [82] The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association likewise came under criticism in 2010 for a poster depicting employees raising a flag marked "BASSA" at the edge of a runway. [82]

Among the smaller scale replicas of the Marine Corps War Memorial based on the flag raising is one also sculpted by Felix de Weldon at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island on the Peatross Parade Deck. For the finale of The Crucible, the Marines' 54-hour final training test, Marine recruits at Parris Island hike 9 miles to the statue as the sun rises and the flag is raised. They then are addressed on the flag raising and its meaning and are then awarded their Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblems by their drill instructors signifying them as full-fledged Marines. [87]


Flag Flying, Race Shaming and Revisionist History

The Pride flag is flying over some of our embassies. So is the Black Lives Matter flag. School boards are adding Critical Race Theory to public school curriculums. The president commended LGBTQ people for their “bravery” while ignoring D-Day.

How should we react to obscene overreaches from our federal government and school boards? If we’re people of faith, do we remain silent in light of Romans 12? Do we always submit to those in authority over us?

If I were a father, I wouldn’t stand by and allow my child to be indoctrinated. He need not feel shame for his skin color—nor for his country’s history.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: To a Leftist, Even Math is Racist

Hard truths

Every country—current or past—has its sins and foibles and mistakes and weaknesses. So does every people group. Native Americans subjugated others in competing tribes. Africans enslaved other Africans.

We’re all sinners living in a broken world. The human condition is the same today as it was in 1619, 1776, 1492 and 200 B.C. Yes, I said it—B.C.—before Christ—he who changed the world and triggered a new era in history.

There are no noble savages. Human beings are neither noble nor savage—we’re simply imperfect beings made in the image of a perfect God.

Nations begin when compacts are made, charters are crafted, constitutions are ratified. When principles are agreed upon, people come together and build something with which they can live and fight for. America did not begin when colonists imported slaves. Colonial slavery began.

Sins of our fathers

In 1619, America was not a nation it was a group of colonies and vassal to a faraway king. Descendants of slave owners are not guilty of slavery. Nor are they guilty of white privilege or white shame or white anything.

Descendants of African kings who sold their fellow Africans to slave traders aren’t guilty of slavery. The guilty are those who committed the guilty acts. We are not complicit in the sins of our fathers.

Nor is our nation guilty of anything other than being flawed and founded by imperfect men. America remains the best hope for freedom and opportunity the world has ever seen. This truth is undeniable.

Lies and overreach

The only flag our government agencies can fly is Old Glory. Federal government has no freedom to show pride for anything other than the country they serve. LGBTQ is not a country it’s a choice. LGBTQ is not a nation it’s a sexual preference. LGBTQ people are citizens of America, not Pride.

Pride is what one feels for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the bloody beaches of Normandy. Pride that is proper is a mix of humility and courage. It’s not about anger or in-your-face, deal-with-me aggression. Pride isn’t loud and obnoxious. Nor should its flag be a co-opted rainbow. Rainbows are about promises, not preferences.

Black Lives Matter is a race-baiting grift operation. It’s built on lies like “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” BLM does next to nothing to help life black Americans out of poverty and crime. BLM does everything to to garner power and bilk people and corporations out of money and support.

BLM’s founders are Marxists who seek to change America not for racial equality, but for social and economic equity. BLM is a political organization that’s free to fly its flag over demonstrations, marches—and even riots. U.S. Embassies and other federal government entities have no business flying BLM or Pride flags. It’s not their role.

Right role of government

Our federal government has no role in controversial societal issues like sexual preference. The federal government exists only to protect its citizens from all foreign and domestic enemies and to uphold their constitutional rights.

Anything more is overreach and unconstitutional. Our submission to those in authority over us is contractual. We have no king because we won’t be ruled. We have representatives to whom we lend authority based on a contract, a Constitution.

When that contract is violated, we’re free to resist violations like improper flag flying, school indoctrination and revisionist history.

Let’s exercise it within the law as long as the law doesn’t violate higher laws—God’s laws. After all, as Americans, resistance is our birthright. As people of faith, truth is our banner.

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Flag etiquette for funerals of fallen police officers stems from the American Civil War when returned soldiers would join their local police force. Many police officers’ funerals follow the same flag guidelines as military funerals. Some use the flag of their police department with, or instead of, the American flag. Generally, the police department’s chief will make the call when it comes to these practices. Funerals of firefighters and EMS personnel can follow similar flag practices as military and police funerals however, these traditions are much newer and are still evolving.

Understanding how the American flag is used during funeral services is an important part of respecting fallen and retired military personnel and their families. These honors can mean the world to a family who is experiencing one of the worst days of their life.

For any additional questions relating to flag etiquette for military service members or first responders, please contact your local funeral home or the VA location closest to you.


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