Flags and Dawn and Dusk?

June 30th, 2015
Micro Patch of Estonia

Micro Patch of Estonia
Approximate size
¾x1¼” (2×3.5cm)

Whilst doing a bit of research for one of our latest Micro Patches (Estonia – coming soon!), we stumbled upon a thought provoking tidbit:

“The flag atop Pikk Hermann Tower on Toompea hill in Tallinn is raised every morning at dawn, but not before seven o’clock; it is lowered at sunset, but not later than ten o’clock. The flags on other buildings are scheduled by local government codes.”

Well, naturally we were sidetracked into reading a bit about the Pikk Hermann Tower from a rather skimpy article from our friends at WikiPediA – for example that flag is only 95 metres (OK, yards) above sea level. Goodness, the photo credits are nearly as long as the article. Thank you, Ivar.

"Pikk Hermann" by Ivar Leidus - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 ee via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pikk_Hermann.jpg#/media/File:Pikk_Hermann.jpg

“Pikk Hermann” by Ivar Leidus – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 ee via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pikk_Hermann.jpg#/media/File:Pikk_Hermann.jpg

Waving flag of EstoniaBut it wasn’t really the information about the Estonian flag, beautiful as it is, that we found fascinating. We’d just never really thought about what time “dawn” and “dusk” were in those northern latitudes, the “Land of the Midnight Sun” – as regards to flag protocol. Really, in the summer time (hope you all enjoyed our recent Solstice), when the sun never sets up north, how would one know at what time to hoist ones flag? Or to retire it at a “non-sunset”?

Well, now the answer is simple: if the sun just isn’t going to set or rise, hoist it at 7AM and retire it at 10PM. On the other hand, in those darker months, when the sun never rises, the same rule holds: up at 7, down at 10 – even in the dark, we suppose. Gosh. Hope they’re well lit. (Did you know we offered flag lighting systems?)

We haven’t yet researched it, but assume similar protocol exists for Scandinavian and other northern countries. Make sense?

Hmmm. Wonder if there’s a similar issue in the far southern climes, like the tip of Argentina or Antartica. Don’t hear much about that, do we?

Flag Daze

May 31st, 2015

OK. It’s most likely summer-ish somewhere in the world at any given time. Here, in the northern hemisphere it’s getting on to that time of year now and, of course it’s flag flying season for some; for others, it’s year-round. In any event, when we think of flags, we often think international flags. Elsewhere, we’ve noted that the single obvious symbol that represents a nation is its flag. However (most) countries also have mottos. Yes, it’s true!

Our good friends at WikipediA have a pretty interesting page about those mottos, and a couple of things pop out at us from that page.

One is that some countries don’t have a national motto! Imagine. And where’s Eddie Izzard on this important issue? “No motto – no country!” Perhaps someone should sponsor a contest for those unfortunate lands.

Secondly, is the obvious use of flags to identify the countries listed. Why do we do this? Of course a little bit of color often livens up any display, but really can you alphabetize colors and patterns? Perhaps the alphabet gets one close and then looking for the flag pattern (assuming that’s known) makes the final search a bit easier. Surely one doesn’t scan a couple of hundred flag designs looking for one in particular – does one?

Of note is WikipediA’s selection of Brazil/Brasil whose flag also has their motto. It’s a two-fer.

Brazil - flag and motto

The national motto of Brazil, Ordem e progresso (Order and progress), is inscribed on the Brazilian flag.

Mini Micro Moon?

April 3rd, 2015

Super vs Micro or Mini MoonSkyORB3D, one of our favorite smart phone apps, notified us this afternoon of the occurrence of the “Mini Moon”. An unfamiliar phrase always demands investigation; yet surprisingly, our old friend, Wikipedia had nothing to offer – at the time of this writing. Fortunately, the Internet is wide and deep. Soon, we came across a nice description on timeanddate.com:

When a full Moon coincides with the Moon’s position at apogee, it is referred to as a micro Moon or a mini Moon.

Apparently, they only appear once a year. It was a little confusing that Time and Date (and most other sites) peg the date on March 5th of this year, yet SkyORB3D notified us at 13:00 today (03APRIL15). Well, that’s close.

But of course, Dear Reader, you ask, “What’s this all have to do with FLAGS?” Fair enough. Frankly, when we saw Mini and Micro together in the same context (other than skirt styles of the 60’s), it naturally reminded us of our ever-popular Mini and Micro Patches, to which we have been adding steadily. Heavens! They’re stellar!

Mini Patch of Canada

Mini Patch of Canada

Micro Patch of Brazil

Micro Patch of Brazil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to see something smaller? (In patches, not moons.) Stay tuned.

You’re so Vane, I’ll bet you think this Flag is about you.

January 11th, 2015
Weathervane

OK. Technically, “weathercock” means “a weather vane in the form of a cock”, but we thought this image was way cooler.

Several months ago, one of our favorite websites, Dictionary.com, had as their “Word for the Day”, the word “Vane“. (Not to be confused with vain or vein.) Seems pretty simple.

Although there are a few definitions, most all of them pertain to something that moves in the wind. But wait. There’s more.

One of our other favorite sites, the Online Etymology Dictionary, gives a little more depth to the discussion, to wit:

[“Vane” entered the English language] early [in the] 15[th ] c[entury]., [as a ]southern England alteration … of fane “flag, banner.”

Darth VaderYou knew of course, Dear Reader, that “F” and “V” were/are often confused. Consider – SPOILER ALERT – Darth Vader <- “Dark Father”.

Alas, once again, I digress.

It seems that “fane”, meaning “weathercock”, came to us late in the 14th century, from the Old English fana “flag, banner”, from Proto-Germanic *fanon” (cf. Old Frisian fana, Gothic fana “piece of cloth”, Old High German fano, German Fahne “flag, standard”); possibly cognate with Latin pannus “piece of cloth” (see pane). (Not, we presume, to be confused with pain.)

Now we here at smALL FLAGs eschew job titles, but in some places that seems to be required: consequently, I’ve long used the title “Fahnen Meister”. Get it? Fade to dark.

smALL Patches for a better world?

August 18th, 2014

Troop 729 post card - front

What a treat in this modern day of electronic communications to receive an actual post card – and from South Korea! How cool is that? This may be the nicest Thank You card we’ve ever received.

Troop 729 post card - back

(Author’s name was digitally smudged for privacy.)

If you ever dare to think there’s not much good on this earth, just take a look at the photo collection of this troop of young Americans. Heart warming is not strong enough a phrase; it’s really uplifting, inspiring, and gives me hope that our future will be in good hands.

Troop 729 in Korea

Heck of an organization, this STN. Check ’em out. Consider a donation. It’s your future.

Sticking Around, Flagless!

April 27th, 2014

The daughter of a friend of ours gave him some Disney antenna toppers. (Honest. We didn’t even know they existed.) His problem? How to display them? He drives a really nice ‘vette and didn’t want to stick (smALL pun) them on his antenna, but he did want to show off just how cute they are. Here was his elegant solution:

Flag sticks with antenna toppers

Pretty clever, eh? He asked if we had just the sticks for our 4×6″ flags. Of course! (Sold by the dozens only.) He also got one of our eleven-hole bases to properly display them. OK. Full disclosure: He did clip off the gilt spear-tip finials that come on those empty sticks. Gotta admit. That’s pretty cute. Whadda think? Points for creativity?

Respect Our Flag

February 28th, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, we were visiting at the 29th annual Oregon Asian Celebration in Eugene, OR. We’ve been to nearly every one of them and really enjoy this festival. Of course they were celebrating the Year of the Horse, but we blogged about that last month. In any event, we were strolling around (as one is wont to do at such events) and stumbled upon an interesting booth with displays regarding Indonesia.

Indonesian booth

That handsome fellow pictured here is one Edwin Suchranudin – #suchacoolnametosay. Nice guy.

Suchranudin card

(Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the website shown on his card is under construction, but his email – if you can’t read it from his card – is tbedwins@kjrisfo.net.) We asked him about the banner behind him and he was quite proud to tell us about its symbolism. We didn’t tell him that we had just blogged about that in January 2012. We also didn’t tell him that we follow @RespectOurFlag on our Twitter account. It’s also all about Indonesia, but hasn’t had a posting since December 2012 – also at the time of this writing. Was it something we said? Follow them. Follow us. Follow each other. Be happy. Go “Sang Saka Merah Putih”!

Horsing around with Newness

January 30th, 2014

horn blowingYou may well know, Dear Reader, that we seldom toot our own horn in these postings. However (you were waiting for it), toot toot.

 

 

 

You know this is the beginning of yet another trip around our favorite star (aka New Year) and it’s just about to begin another Year of the Horse for our Asian friends. But allow us to digress: This is the clever Chinese word for horse;Chinese character for horse with a little imagination, one can almost see the animal in the character, as this artist shows.2014 Year of the horse graphic

Of course with a little more imagination, it could even look like a flag. (Or, with even more imagination  it could look like just about anything, but we digress from our digression.)

We thought it would be appropriate to remind you of some of the newest products now available for your amusement. These have all been added to our website in the past 6 months.

Yes, yes. We keep adding to our utterly amazing line of embroidered patches.

A couple of patches we probably should have had up long ago:

Read the rest of this entry »

smALL Teddy Bear FLAG patch

August 25th, 2013

Warning: They say the world is filled with silly love songs.

Aussie Para TedBack story: As if our last post wasn’t sweet enough, here’s an unrelated one from literally the opposite side of the world. Once again, we’ll let the lightly edited emails speak for themselves.

Hi Small Flags,

I’d just like to congratulate your firm for the quality of your product, and thank you for the uncompromising level of service.

Last week I placed probably the smallest order you’ll receive for some time. It was for a very small Australian flag that you could not have possibly made any profit on at the price.

I wanted to let you know that the Aussie flag [Micro Patch] is now affixed to an Australian army para teddy bear, to celebrate our son Michael’s recent return from active service in Afghanistan (working very closely with US troops in a remote forward operating base.) We’re sending the (unnamed) bear to Mike’s newly married wife Jen, as Mike had to return early from their honeymoon to attend a training course for two months (as the Army does). At least Jen will now have a bit of company. …

I notice you have a Latin quote on your web site. [Assumed reference to the bottom of our Mission and Policies statement, linked to from our About Us page.] I was taught Latin by Jesuit priests when I was at school. Thanks again to Small Flags for something that is very important to our family:

Minima Maxima Sunt

Regards,

Tim.

Sydney, Australia.

Sweet, eh?

We of course asked if we could post their photos, not only of the teddy, but also of their handsome son. Here’s part of their subsequent reply.

Hi William,

Thank you for making contact.

Of course we wouldn’t mind you using the letter and photos on your blog. It is the least we could do for you giving our family so much pleasure.

When I came home from work this evening I noticed a message on our answering phone from our new daughter-in-law Jen. She only received the teddy bear in today’s mail, and was overcome by the little surprise. It clearly has a special place in her heart already. …

Thanks again,

Tim.

Oh, and here’s that handsome son:

Mike Para Beret Afghanistan

smALL FLAGs for smALL DOGs

June 30th, 2013

Warning: The following is a love story.

Back story: In late May, we were contacted by a very nice customer in Denmark, who had previously ordered some of our Micro Patches.  She wanted some more and was kind enough to write and tell us how she intended using them. We have redacted the author’s name, but let her otherwise unedited emails speak for themselves.

Hello Mr. Gifford

Thank you so much for your prompt reply and fast handling!

I would love to not only tell you how I intend to use the little flags, but also to send you pictures of the final product.

I breed and show dogs, the breed is called Danish/swedish Farmdogs. It is my hobby, been doing this for a decade, and I breed with purpose to improve, not for money. So I only have very few dogs, that are our family dogs, and I am now breeding on my own 4th generation.

Anyway…among my dog friends is a creative person, who sews these beautiful fleece collars, that are wide, soft and comfortable for the neck, and doesn’t rub the coat or break the hair on the neck, which is an issue, when you show dogs.

So since they are wide, there is room for a personal little embroidery of approximately 2 cm’s with on a nylon band in the middle of the collar. She makes the collars on order, custom fit for each dog, and has put out quite a few with dogs’ names embroidered in letters. The fleece comes in a variety of colors.

I have made a special design for the collar I want for my oldest gal, Maddy. She is 12 years old, and the most amazing little best friend I have ever had in my life. She is a great grandmother to my youngest, and she keeps right up with the little booger. Every day of her going so strong is just a blessed gift.

My Maddy I have shown to so many titles in so many countries, among many others, she is a champion in both Denmark, Sweden, and Norway…now I think you might get the drift…

Maddy’s collar will have the fleece in 2 colors, namely the show champion colors that are used for the rosettes and ribbons at shows in Scandinavia, which are red and green. It will have her name embroidered on the 2cm wide black nylon band in the front, and in the neck…tadaa…it will have the micro sized (perfect fit by the way) flags of the countries, in which she titled.

I ordered extra Danish and Swedish flags, as there is a chance her grand daughter and great grand daugther might need a similar collar some day, plus even extra Danish flags, because we have many friends showing their dogs here, who will see the collar, have Danish champion dogs, and probably want a collar like Maddy’s.

I promise I will send you a photo pf the finished collar, which I can’t wait to put on my old Maddy. She will wear it with pride. Here she is, my little princess: www.farmdogs.net/maddy.htm

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see a picture of Maddy with one of her champion rosettes in red and green.

Thanks again, and

best regards

A few weeks later, she wrote:

Hello William.

The collar for our Maddy, with the little flags, was now finished, and Maddy has worn it for the first time today. She is very proud of the collar, and for an older lady at 12, it feels good and gentle with the soft fleeze, which the back side of the collar was made of.

I promised you pictures, so here they are. My friend who makes these collars can be proud of this one, it is really cool!

Your flags fit perfect, thanks for fast shipping and handling.

Tail wags from Maddy to Dubh.

Best regards,

Maddy from the left with her collar

Maddy's collar

Maddy from the right with her collar

Now, how sweet is that?

PS Her last comment was referring to our Dubh.

Our Dubh, waiting for Mommy.

Our Dubh, waiting for Mommy.