Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Moo Kay Holiday?

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Celebrated the Autumnal Equinox recently. Chatting with a Chinese friend today, I jokingly asked how his Yom Kippur and Eid went. He didn’t miss a beat and said he was looking forward to celebrating what sounded like the “Moo Kay Holiday”. Not wishing to sound too stupid, and not knowing the proper felicitation for that particular holiday, I wished him well and we exchanged goodbyes. Of course the frantic search began. First how to spell it? Mu Cai? Moo Ke?

Finally, after much trial and error, I discovered that he was referring to the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival where part of the celebration involves eating Moon Cakes.

And of course, there’s always sweet cakes at Yom Kippur, but did you ever notice the similarity between maamoul crumbly cookies eaten at Eid and moon cakes? Yum. It’s fall!

Maamoul

Maamoul

Mooncakes

Mooncakes

 

 

Coincidence?

 

 

But wait. There’s more! As an additional treat for the Mid-Autumn Festival, this Sunday, the 27th, there will be a Rare ‘Supermoon’ Lunar Eclipse. Happy munching!

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

Flags and Dawn and Dusk?

Tuesday, 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?

Sticking Around, Flagless!

Sunday, 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?

Horsing around with Newness

Thursday, 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:

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The King – et ux, et al, etc.

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

New Sweden 375th logoThe Colony known as “New Sweden”  was founded 375 years ago; it ultimately became the City of Wilmington, Delaware. In honor of the anniversary of the establishment of that colony, their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden and Speaker of the Parliament of Finland, Mr. Eero Heinäluoma, are visiting Wilmington today, May 11, 2013. We think that’s pretty cool. Also cool is the fact that there will be several hundred smALL FLAGs of Sweden, Finland and the United States there waving to greet them.

 

Kalmar Nyckel

Kalmar Nyckel

You know that back in 1638, Finland was part of Sweden. So today’s a big day for the Finns as well. You’ll see both flags here on a replica of the ship that brought those colonialists. Of course it’s all decked out today. (Small pun intended.) The ship is called Kalmar Nyckel and it was a Dutch-built armed merchant ship. Yes, that’s why the flag of The Netherlands is also flying here.

Gee – I mean Uff Da – aren’t flags fun? Did you have any relatives on Kalmar Nyckel?

French Flag Puzzle?

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Don’t you just love it when three of your passionate interests collide? (Perhaps that’s not the mot juste considering our last two posts.)

We like to start off our Sunday Mornings with NPR’s Sunday Puzzle with Will Shortz.

NPR's Sunday PuzzleImagine our surprise when today’s “On-air Challenge” was entitled “Saluting The Flag” and the contestant was from Portland, Oregon (our nearest large-ish city)!

Frankly, as On-air Challenges go, it wasn’t one of their hardest, but thematically, it fit well with today (and tomorrow’s) honoring of Veterans Day. (Thank you, Vets!) View the Car Badges, Decals, Flags, Keyrings, Mini Banners, Mugs, Patches, Pins, Posters, Sunglasses, Ties, Umbrellas and Windsocks on your smALL FLAGs store showcase site.

Another Sunday tradition of ours is doing the big New York Times Crossword. (Thank you again, Will Shortz.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

All the fun ones were French words pronounced and used as though they were English words. Really fun!

Now I ask you, what could be more fun? Puzzles, Flags and Languages. What a great way to spend 11/11. (Almost at 11:11.)

A SECOND Derailment?

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Second derailment

As unbelievable as it may be, apparently lightning really can strike twice. Alright, not exactly in the same place, but really … TWO train derailments of shipments of our flags in the same summer?

Also odd, the Rapid City Journal referred to this one as a derailment, although the train actually crashed into a cement truck. Isn’t that a train crash?

This one actually caused us to create a new board on our Pinterest site: Flag disasters. How droll.

How to Flag Down a Train – Apparently

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Oftentimes we ask our domestic manufacturers to ship us goods via Air. Here’s what happened to one we had them ship via Ground just last week:

Train Derailment

Our flags are somewhere in here!

Yes, we realize this could possibly have just as easily been a plane accident, but the result was the same – a big delay for us and our customers. So, rather than trying to imagine the insurance issues and further delays, we just re-ordered the lot and expect to receive it all soon.

It was interesting to note that the Billings Gazette article referred to the incident as a “derailment”. Guess “train crash” might be a little inaccurate: it didn’t appear that they ran into anything out there in that “remote part of northeast Montana”. On the good side, it appeared that, amazingly, there were no no environmental threats or injuries.

Also, according to the BNSF spokesperson, “The containers were transporting everything from A to Z: Frozen food products, rubber materials and tissue paper, to name a few.” WHAT? No mention of flags? Imagine.

The ‘strait’ scoop on Detroit’s flag

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Found another rabbit hole to explore. A short while back, and perhaps still going on, there were some TV commercials touting a particular Motown (as in “Motor Town”) manufacturer of automobiles. While, most likely, other viewers were admiring the styling of the commercial, yours truly noticed the tiniest fluttering of a then-unfamiliar flag down in the corner of perhaps a frame or two of the commercial.

Flag of Detroit

Pretty isn’t it?

Turns out, this is the flag of the city of Detroit, Michigan (surprise!) and was designed in 1907 by one David E. Heineman; it wasn’t officially adopted as the city’s flag until 1948. The original design had the seal as an oval. Apparently sometime in the early 1970s, the design was redone and the seal was made into a circle. Don’t ask. Ever wanting to tinker with things, those Detroiters (Anyone know the correct demonym? Remember last post talking about that?) changed the seal again around a dozen years ago to reduce the number of colors. Again, don’t ask.

The background is what we vexillologists call “quartered”. (Pretty tricky technical term there, eh?) The sections represent the countries that controlled the city at various times. Actually, there were only three countries (France – from 1701, Britain – 1760-96 and the US), but dividing it into three sections didn’t seem to be an option. So, France is shown on the bottom left (the “lower hoist” – to us geeks) with five of their cute little fleurs-de-lis (yes, that’s correct; they’re cute). Britain gets the upper right (oops; the “upper fly”. Got it?) with three of their little lions. And the Stars and Stripes (well thirteen of each of course – for the original colonies) take over the other two quadrants (You got it: the “upper hoist” and the “lower fly”. That wasn’t so hard, was it?).

Now about that seal. Back in 1805 the entire town, as it was then, burned to the ground – save one building. (Do your own research on that.) So the woman on the left is looking at the charred rubble, pretty bummed. Under the rubble is the Latin (always has to be Latin doesn’t it – makes it classier) Speramus Meliora meaning “We hope for better things.” The woman on the right is saying, “Buck up, sis” and gesturing to the new city that will be built. Under that is the Latin Resurget Cineribus, “It will rise from the ashes.” Nice attitude.

So why is ‘strait’ in quotes in the title of this post? Please excuse the little pun. The straitsYou see, in French the words ‘Détroit’ and ‘Détroits’ mean strait or straits. (Remember, the French were the ones who established the first (European) fort there.) Check out the straights between Lake Erie, Lake St. Claire and Lake Huron. So Detroit was a pretty good name for the place. Don’t you think?

By the way, this little picture is shown on the right, or in French, á droite. Don’t confuse that with Detroit. Now you know about those tinkerers – and their flag.

Princess Grace and the Monégasque – and Poland?

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Grace KelleyA few nights ago, Oregon Public Broadcasting showed an olde (1987) video about the lovely, late Princess Grace of Monaco. Thank you, OPB. During the show the word Monégasque was mentioned – more than a few times. Well it turns out that Monégasque is the demonym or gentilic for those folks who live in Monaco; it also refers to their language, etc. (For a related issue, research the difference between the words Toponymy and Ethnonym.) Note: this is driving spell check crazy too. For your edification, there’s a lovely reference to the Monégasque language on reference.com.

Although fascinated by the language, we were of course, Dear Reader, all ready to apply it to the national flag of Monaco. So, first a little background: Grace Kelley married into the Grimaldi family. Their heraldic colors of red and white are attested as far back as 1339. The national flag was adopted on April 4th, in that palindromic year of 1881. So far, so good. They, well not Grace, of course, selected the proportions of 4:5, so, it looks like this:

Flag of Monaco

Flag of Monaco - proportions 4:5

Nice. Simple. However, on August 1st of that not quite palindromic year 1919, the Polish Parliament, of all folks, adopted the national flag of Poland.

Flag of Poland

Flag of Poland - proportions 8:5

Fairly similar, would you say? Ah, but notice the proportions: 5:8 is so different from 4:5. Right? Well, to be fair, Poland had been using those same red and white colors since the XVII-XIX centuries. Still not as long as the Monégasque, but quite a while. Yet, the location of those colors was not always fixed. That is, sometimes the red was on the top! Furthermore, sometimes the flag includes an Eagle from the state seal. (No eagle-seal animal jokes here now.) Lots of controversy about the length and color of the bird’s talons, arrangement of feathers, crown or no crown, etc. (No worries, we carry flags and patches of Poland’s flag both with and without the eagle.)

End of controversy? Oh, no, Dear Reader. On the 17th of August, 1947 (no jokes), Indonesia – yes that nation on the other side of the globe from both Monaco and Poland – decided to adopt their flag.

Flag of Indonesia

Flag of Indonesia - proportions 3:2

Now the Indonesian national flag is called “Sang Saka Merah Putih”. (Guess that’s because “Merah-Poetih” means “Red-White”. Go figure.) At least no eagles or suchlike.

Let’s all just cross our fingers that Monaco, Poland and Indonesia never go to war against each other. Field identification might be a little tricky. Not to mention that time-honored tradition of flying ones flag upside-down to indicate distress. Goodness.

All that from a public television show? My, how the mind can travel.