On July 21, 1861, Union and Confederate armies engaged near Manassas Junction, Virginia in what would be considered the first major land battle of the American Civil War. Known as the First Battle of Bull Run in the North and First Battle of Manassas in the South, the engagement began when 35,000 freshly recruited Union troops marched from Washington D.C. and attacked a Confederate force of 20,000 inexperienced soldiers along the Bull Run River. After fighting on the defensive for most of the battle, the Confederates were able to rally and break through the Union right flank, thanks to their reinforcements. This led to the Union’s chaotic retreat – ending the battle. Due to the disorganization and lack of experience of the confederate forces, they did not pursue.
This battle provided a preview for both sides; the war was not going to be as quick and seamless as once thought. The conflict would serve as a true end of innocence during the civil war era.
Check out our Civil War collection here.
Independence Day – also known as The Fourth of July – has been celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States since 1941. From present day dating back to 1776, July 4th has been a defining day for Americans and celebrated as the birth of American Independence. With festivities including fireworks, parades, family gatherings, and cookouts, how did Independence Day come to be?
When initial battles started in the Revolutionary War, few colonists desired complete independence from Britain but within a year many colonist had began to favor separation from Great Britain thanks to growing hostility and unreasonable taxes. “No Taxation without representation!” echoed in America’s original thirteen colonies after being forced to pay taxes to England despite having no representation in the British Parliament. As tensions and dissatisfaction grew, British troops arrived in Boston to quell the early rebellion after failed attempts by the colonists to resolve the political upheaval. On June 7, 1776 Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House where Virginia delegate, Richard Henry Lee, introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.
Amidst heated debate and flared tension, Congress postponed voting on Lee’s resolution in exchange appointed a five man committee to draft a formal statement justifying sovereignty and independence from Great Britain. Among the five men appointed were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert Livingston, however, Jefferson was considered the most eloquent writer and was largely responsible as the principal author of the draft. After eighty-six revisions, the Continental Congress officially adopted the final version of the draft in nearly a unanimous vote on July 2nd, 1776.
Two days later on July 4th, congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, the historic document which birthed the triumph of liberty and America’s freedom. The following day copies of the extraordinary document were distributed and the first public reading of the Declaration were held in Philadelphia’s Independence Square to ringing bells and band music. The following year, on July 4th, 1777, Congress was adjourned in Philadelphia and the first annual commemoration of Independence Day was celebrated with bells, bonfires, bands, and fireworks. Independence Day continued to be celebrated each year providing emerging political leaders a platform to address citizens and helped create feelings of unity and patriotism. As the new nation grew more unified, observations throughout the nation began to spread to other towns both large and small and the day was officially marked with festivities including concerts, parades, bonfires, flags, and the firing of cannons and muskets along with readings of the Declaration of Independence.
Almost one hundred years later, in 1870, the United States Congress officially made July 4th a federal holiday and a federal holiday in 1941. From 1776 until present day, the American flag is widely viewed as the most common symbol of Independence Day and patriotism. Thomas Jefferson’s last words written:
“May it be to the world, what I believe it will be... the signal of arousing men to burst the chains... and to assume the blessings and security of self- government. That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. ...For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them."
The flag of the United States of America is a revered symbol of freedom and justice. It should be treated with the utmost respect during its lifetime and, additionally, when it reaches eventual retirement and destruction. The United States Flag Code (4 USC Sec 8 Paragraph (k) Amended 7 July 1976) states:
The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
There are several ways to dispose of a retired US flag, and this guide will help you determine what method works for you.
Method 1: Respectfully burning the flag
The preferred method by the US Flag Code, burning a retired flag, is considered to be the most dignified way to dispose of it. Start by folding the flag in a customary triangle manner. Next, one should prepare a fire large enough to burn the flag completely. After placing the flag in the fire, witnesses should recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute while it burns. End the ceremony with a moment of silence before burying the flag's ashes. Various organizations such as the American Legion or the Boys Scouts of America conduct ceremonies and will happily accept your retired flag.
One word of caution when retiring synthetic flags such as nylon: when burned, the gas created can be harmful for both the environment and people alike. We recommend alternative forms of retirement or handing the flag off to a local organization.
Method 2: Shredding and burying the flag
One alternative method is to shred and bury the flag. This provides a dignified means of retirement that does not involve burning. The US Army's Heraldry Institute recommends shredding as an acceptable disposal method, provided it is done with reverence. Use scissors to slowly and methodically separate the thirteen stripes, leaving the blue star-spangled field intact. After the flag is completely cut into pieces, place it in a dignified box and bury it. Once the flag is shredded, the article is not considered to be a flag anymore.
Method 3: Recycling synthetic flags
Another alternative to burning the flag is to recycle it. If your flag is made of nylon or another synthetic material, burning the flag can release toxic fumes that are both harmful to humans and the environment. Because of this reality, alternative methods are strongly recommended when retiring these synthetic flags. Various organizations exist to assist you with this endeavor.
Feel free to send us your worn and tattered flags, and we’ll make sure they get disposed of in a dignified and honorable manner.
US Flag Supply
PO Box 331245
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
US Flag Supply
1198 Mayport Rd Suite 9
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
The thin, blue line has become a symbol for law enforcement around the world. It refers figuratively to the position of law enforcement in society as a bulwark between order and anarchy. This phrase derives from the Thin Red Line made famous by the British Army in 1854 during the Crimean War. The Blue Line Identifier™, consisting of a single horizontal blue line on a black field, has become one of many popular representations of this idea. Trademarked by Blue Line Productions Inc. in 1993, it is used as a symbol of mourning and a symbol of loss of an officer in the line of duty.
Another popular design is the blue line going across a black and white American flag. This design is used to show solidarity with law enforcement. Citizens of the United Kingdom have adopted a similar design consisting of a blue line across a black and white union jack. With the popularity of the thin blue line on the rise, other organizations have picked up the concept and simply changed the color. The most notable example is the thin red line being used by fire fighters.
Here at US Flag Supply, we have both versions of Thin Blue Line flags available to order as well as Thin Red Line American flags. You can find them here. Show your support for our brave police men and women!
Public Law 87-726 states:
Whereas the police officers of America have worked devotedly and selflessly in behalf of the people of this Nation, regardless of the peril or hazard to themselves; and Whereas these officers have safeguarded the lives and property of their fellow Americans; and Whereas by the enforcement of our laws, these same officers have given our country internal freedom from fear of the violence and civil disorder that is presently affecting other nations; and Whereas these men and women by their patriotic service and their dedicated efforts have earned the gratitude of the Republic: Now, therefore, be it.
Public Law 87-726, signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, designates May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. The law was amended by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322, signed by President Bill Clinton, directing that the flag of the United States be displayed at half-staff on all government buildings on May 15 each year. During Police Week, tens of thousands of police officers converge to Washington D.C. to take part in various activities with one goal in mind: paying respect to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Take time this week to remember those officers that gave up their lives for the pursuit of justice and peace.
Photo by Dane Tewari on Unsplash
For more information and a list of activities visit:
Today, people from around the world celebrate Victory in Europe Day also known as V-E Day. V-E Day commemorates the end of fighting in Europe during World War II. After years of intense war, the Third Reich of Nazi Germany was defeated when Allied troops marched in Berlin. The German Army ceased fighting on May 2, and formally surrendered unconditionally, on May 7. The surrender of all German forces was arranged for May 8 at 11:01. The Allied countries planned to celebrate victory, and the cessation of hostilities in the European theater.
While the United States, England, France and the other allied powers celebrate V-E Day on the 8th of May, Russia celebrates on the 9th. Thank you to all those who fought in World War II. May your sacrifices never be forgotten!
72 years ago today, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, the Chief of Naval Operations, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to keep the public interested in Naval Aviation. That team would be called the Blue Angels. Originally stationed in NAS Jacksonville, the Blue Angels would become one of the most recognized flight demonstration teams in the world! Calling NAS Pensacola home, the Blue Angels can be seen entertaining thousands at air shows around the country. Happy 72nd birthday, Blue Angels!
With the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln to the office of President of the United States in 1860, the southern states saw little reason to stay in the Union. On December 20, 1860, by a vote of 169-0, the South Carolina Legislature enacted an "ordinance" that "the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of 'The United States of America,' is hereby dissolved." With South Carolina leading the way, Mississippi (seceded January 9, 1861), Florida (seceded January 10, 1861), Alabama (seceded January 11, 1861), Georgia (seceded January 19, 1861), Louisiana (seceded January 26, 1861) and Texas (seceded February 1, 1861) followed suit calling themselves the “Confederate States of America.” Naturally, sitting President Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln both refused to acknowledge the South's secession, citing it to be illegal. Ignoring the Confederates call for the surrender of federal entities in their borders, Lincoln instead wished to reinforce them. Fort Sumter, which overlooking the port of Charleston, South Carolina, was protected by a force of 85 men under the command of Maj. Robert Anderson. On April 11, 1861, Confederate Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard dispatched aides to Maj. Anderson to demand the fort’s surrender. Anderson promptly refused. At 4:30 a.m. the next day, Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter and continued for another 34 hours. Low on ammunition and supplies, at about 7:00 a.m., Union Capt. Abner Doubleday, the fort's second in command, was afforded the honor of firing the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter. The following day, Anderson surrendered and was allowed to perform a 100-gun salute before he and his men evacuated the fort the next day. The salute began at 2:00 P.M. on April 14 but was cut short tragically to 50 guns after an accidental explosion killed one of the gunners and mortally wounded another. These two casualties were the only ones to stem from the overall battle itself. The Battle at Fort Sumter marked the beginning of the American Civil War. It would not be preoccupied by Union forces for another 4 years. Today, on the anniversary of this historic battle, we remember those who have served and have taken a part in one of America's most tumultuous times.
Not to be confused with the Army’s birthday, which is celebrated on June 14th, Army Day traces its origins to the little known Defense Test Day celebrated in 1924 and 1925. After Congress disallowed any further observances of this day, Colonel Thatcher Luquer established Army Day to be celebrated on May 1, 1929 in hopes of dampening Communists' celebration of Workers' Day, which is celebrate on the same day. After its initial celebration, Army Day was moved to April 6th, the anniversary date of the United States' entry into World War I.
Army Day was established as an observance to draw public attention to national defense as well as to acquaint the public with Army activities. Additionally, the day was used to stress the need for military preparedness, which at the time, the nation had lacked as it entered earlier major conflicts. On April 4, 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued a proclamation stating that Army Day be recognized by Congress as April 6th and observed nationwide. Later on March 1, 1937, Congress passed Resolution #5-75 which officially recognized Army Day.
Army Day is best celebrated by doing your part to remind our veterans that their sacrifices are appreciated. Remember that everything they do helps us live the lives of peace and security that we experience daily. Volunteering at homeless shelters is a great way of ensuring that veterans that need our help the most get it. Unfortunately, it is a fact that a disturbing number our veterans fall through the cracks after they return home from their service. Army Day is your chance to help make a difference in the lives of people who gave everything to make a difference in yours.
Americans have long remembered those who served our country in uniform in the United States Armed Forces on November 11, first as Armistice Day and now as Veterans Day. This year, November 11 marks the 99th year of commemorating veterans in the United States who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. Did you know that Veterans Day is a U.S. federal holiday that was first Armistice Day?
In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice agreement was established between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I as a temporary cease fire and war time peace. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 officially ended “The Great War,” however, the armistice date of November 11, 1918, remained in the public image as the date that marked the end of the conflict. Commemorated in many countries as Armistice Day the following year, the day’s observation is commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer as well as exercises designed to perpetuate peach through good will and mutual understanding between nations. Armistice Day also included parades and public gatherings, as well as a brief pause in business and school activities at 11:00 a.m.
An act in 1938 made November 11 “Armistice Day” – dedicated to the cause of world peace but also to recognize the country’s service members and gratitude for victory. Years later, Armistice Day became legally known as Veterans Day in 1954 after lobbying efforts by veterans’ organizations. The 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word “Armistice” in favor of “Veterans.” From this date forth, November 11 became a day to honor the heroism of American veterans of all wars and peacetime. The Veterans Day National Ceremony is also held every year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. An official wreath-laying ceremony is observed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11:00 a.m. and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries in conjunction with parades and other celebrations held throughout the country.
Currently, there are more than 22 million veterans living in the United States. American effort during World War II utilized the greatest mobilization of U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force in the nation’s history with more than 16 million people and created many veterans. A common misunderstanding about Veterans Day is that it gets confused with Memorial Day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day honors American service members who died in service to their country or injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to American veterans living and dead who served their country humbly during conflict and peace. If November 11 falls on weekend, the federal government observes the holiday on the previous Friday or following Monday. Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11 regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. Let us be reminded of the purpose of Veterans Day this year, a day of gratitude in honor of America’s brave veterans who have put patriotism and willingness to serve and sacrifice before their own needs for the common good of our country.
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