Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

smALL Teddy Bear FLAG patch

Sunday, 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



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,


Oh, and here’s that handsome son:

Mike Para Beret Afghanistan

What’s Right about the US Flag? What’s Left?

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Harper's April 2012 cover - detailWhat’s wrong with this picture? OK. Let me back up. The above image is from the cover of the April issue of the second-oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States. (Scientific American is the oldest, but it’s not as likely they have a flag on their cover often.) That said, this artwork by one Michael Mitra really shocked us. [Yes, we cropped out the part the editors and artist thought was controversial.] No, what torqued our jaws was the alignment of the flag backdrop. It even inspired us to add a new question regarding Flag Etiquette on our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. It, in turn, offers a link to the CRS Report for Congress entitled The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions. In that document, §7 (i) clearly states:

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

Well, to be fair, the image does show the proper use of the little Lapel Pin. (Of course we sell those.) The CRS Report states:

… the Code recognized the wearing of a flag patch or pin on the left side (near the heart) …

So is all this much ado about nothing? We think not, but would enjoy your comments.

smALL FLAGs for Small Countries

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Wedding BellsWhat a clever notion: a customer in the UK came up with the idea that, rather than have “name cards” identifying seating arrangements at a wedding reception, he wanted to use flags to show folks where to sit. Guests will be given a country and then they find their seat – identified by a flag of that country. What fun!

However, and here was a little rub, to mitigate or minimize any biases which guests might have, he asked us for flags for the 52 least populated countries. Well, as the old advertising jingle used to put it, “special orders don’t upset us.” display of smALL FLAGsWe went right to our old friend Wikipedia to get a list of countries showing their population; downloaded that, sorted it in inverse sequence by population and voila! We had our list. Shipping to the UK? No problem. We do it all the time.

Speaking of small county flags, please be aware that we’re now offering flags of the one which Libya used from 1951 to 1969 – and some still do. Flag of Libya - 1951-1969Just now, it’s available in 3×5′ polyester; but you can bet that if the “insurgents” have their way, it will soon be available in many other sizes as well. By the way, politics aside,  most would have to agree that, esthetically at least, this design is certainly more interesting than the one that Gaddafi introduced in 1977. Gaddafi's Libyan flag of 1977Your call. It was/is the only national flag with just one color and no design, insignia, or other details. (Oddly perhaps, we carry this design – if it could be called that – in a wide variety of sizes.)

You were further aware, of course, that Lybia is most certainly not one of those “least populated countries” mentioned above with a whopping 6,355,000 souls calling it home.

Well as long as you’ve read this far, we may as well mention yet another new flag from (sort of) that region of the world. Flag of South SudanThe newest country in the world is now considered to be South Sudan. They were admitted into the United Nations on July 14th of this year. We’re proud to now be able to offer this newest flag in a variety of sizes. However, our 4×6″ versions won’t be available until mid-September. Sigh. Your collection may have to wait just a bit longer.

Oh yes, also not one of those “least populated countries”. 8,260,490 people here. smALL planet indeed!

American Civil War flags – 150 years

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Civil War Preservation Trust logoYesterday, November 6th, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States. (Of course there’s lots of information to be found on the web about this, but the Civil War Preservation Trust here offers an objective synopsis.) Seemed like it was about time we wrote a little about the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, a tragic page of our nation’s history.

A few months ago, we joined a couple of groups discussing the subject on LinkedIn  LinkedIn logo : the American Civil War (1861-1865) Living Historians and the Civil War Sesquicentennial Network. The latter is more frequently posted to and from it we found a post entitled “Irish in the American Civil War & Commemoration Outside the US” and a link to an interesting blog about that spin on the subject.  Almost a year ago we posted the following to both of these groups: “Due to its place in time, Oregon’s 33 star flag was the first flag fired upon by the Confederate army in the Civil War. 2009 is Oregon’s sesquicentennial.” (You knew this was going to get around to flags, didn’t you?)

So, here’s the back story:

“By law, a new star is added to the US flag on July 4th, following the admission of a new state into the Union. Oregon was the 33rd State, being granted Statehood on February 14th, 1859. Hence the 33 star flag was adopted and flown until 1861.33 star US flag

Then Kansas was admitted and the flag had 34 stars up until 1863 when West Virginia joined the Union and the US flag had 35 stars until 1865. Etc., etc., etc.”

Of course as we’re based in Oregon, this seemed particularly relevant. Then, as we’re doing a little research for this blog, we discovered an interesting tidbit from the Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Historic Flag Page: “… at the time of the Civil War, there was no standard arrangement for the stars in the union of the flag, thus many different arrangements were used.” (Note the word “union” – lower case – here refers to the “canton” or upper left quadrant of the flag, not the Union side of the war. That’s just Flag Terminology 101 for you.)

So here’s an alternate arrangement called the “Fort Sumter” flag, namedFort Sumter flag because “… the garrison at Fort Sumter was still flying this 33 star flag at the time of the bombardment in April 1861.”

Fascinating stuff this vexillology – study of flags. Adding a layer of history to it, just makes it all the more so. In that light, Dear Reader, we thought you might enjoy seeing a few of the flags relevant to the Civil War:

Confederate 1st National

Confederate 1st National

Confederate 2nd National

Confederate 2nd National

Confederate 3rd National

Confederate 3rd National

Confederate Bonnie Blue

Confederate Bonnie Blue

Confederate Navy Jack

Confederate Navy Jack

General Lee's Headquarters

General Lee's Headquarters

Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t let you know that we can get all of these flags and more for you. They’re not all on our website, but we would certainly be responsive if you were to contact us regarding their availability.

Regardless, we hope you liked this little flag sojourn into American history and would greatly appreciate your comments below. Thanks!

Semper Paratus

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Unites States Coast GuardFounded 220 years ago today, 4 August 1790, as the “Revenue Cutter Service”, the United States Coast Guard can claim to be the United States’ oldest continuous seagoing service. Yes, yes, of course we carry flags and some great patches of the Coast Guard, but that’s not the point here. And why is it that the Coast Guard is listed last in “Precedence of Members of Armed Forces of the United States When in Formations” as reported in our newsletter Volume 7 Number 1 back in 2008? But again, that’s not the point.

United States Coast Guard flag

Cool, eh?

What I’m trying to get to here is their motto: “Semper Paratus“, Latin for “Always Ready” or “Always Prepared” – but you knew that. It’s pretty cool. Kinda like the “Be Prepared” of the Scouts and Girl Guides. (Great article with translations on Wikipedia, albeit a little gruesome.) It certainly means more than just carrying a cool pocket knife.

Harper's MagazineActually, the cover article of August’s issue of Harper’s Magazine, entitled Happiness is a worn gun: My concealed weapon and me, by Dan Baum (sorry, gotta subscribe or mooch a copy to read it), talks about “conditions of readiness”. To paraphrase:

  • Condition White is total oblivion to one’s surroundings …
  • Condition Yellow is being aware of, and taking an interest in, one’s surroundings …
  • Condition Orange is being aware of a possible threat.
  • Condition Red is responding to danger.

(Personally, I rather like hanging around somewhere between White and Yellow.)

Anyway, chatting with my buddy, Tim, from Hopkins Demonstration Forest at this morning’s Chamber of Commerce meeting, he was recalling in his youth working as a bush fire fighter or some such occupation: even in the slow season, they were required to always be about some task, preparing equipment and such, in preparedness for when it would be needed. The thought was actually echoed by another buddy, Steve, PIO for the Fire District, in his introduction at the same meeting, about always needing to be vigilant, although I don’t remember him using such a big word.

So, maybe there’s the message: keep your head up, don’t freak out, and let’s be thankful for those who protect and serve us.