7 American Flag Facts Every Texan Should Know

The Flag of the United States of America means a lot of things to a lot of people and since I've been answering many flag related questions on Social Media I decided to compile the answers for you. We start with How to Retire the American Flag and end with How you can Request your own flag from the US Capitol.

How to retire an American flag

The best way to retire a worn-out flag is to ceremoniously burn it.

For millennia, cremation ceremonies have been considered the most dignified way to send off a respected person or possession. This is also true today for tattered and unfit flags. Every year, somber ceremonies of burning the flag take place on notable holidays such as Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veteran’s Day.

Here are some organizations that accept old flags for flag burning ceremonies:

We would be remiss if we talked all about Old Glory without mentioning this classic tune from Johnny Cash, so treat your ears to one of our perennial favorites: “Ragged Old Flag”.

Can the American flag and Texas flag be flown at the same height? 

Yes, the Texas State Flag can be flown at the same height as the US Flag. Despite popular belief, Texas is NOT the only state that can fly their flag at the same height.

Texans and Texas are common water cooler conversations in the “Lone Star” state, and the flag is no exception. “Did you know that Texas is the only state that can fly its flag at the same height as the American flag?” It’s a common misconception amongst Texans but it supports our Texas pride.

According to the U.S. Flag Code, flying the American flag highest is preferred, but not required – and the Texas Flag Code adheres to this.

What is definitely true is that Texas is the state in which you’ll most often see the state colors flying at the same height as Old Glory.

Why do politicians wear flag pins? 

American politicians wear flag pins on their lapels to show their patriotism and dedication to the United States. 

The history of this habit reaches as far back as George Washington, but didn’t gain traction until the Vietnam War. As the country began to divide between “patriotic” and “anti-war” factions, those who considered themselves classic patriots began to wear flag pins in response to the popularity of pins with political statements among war protesters. 

President Nixon was the first notable politician to begin wearing an American flag pin on his lapel, encouraging his supporters to do the same in solidarity. This became an on-and-off trend over the following decades, especially in wartime among conservative politicians, but was cemented in DC after 9/11. 

When George W. Bush began wearing an American flag pin on his lapel after the largest attack on American soil, politicians, newscasters and citizens coast to coast embraced this act as a show of patriotism. Now politicians are more likely to be questioned for not wearing a pin, then asked why they are wearing one. 

"I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom." — John Thune

What is the best American flag company? 

The best American flag company is Valley Forge Flag Company. 

From when I first put hands on one of their flags in an Army surplus store in Denison, Texas, the quality and craftsmanship of Valley Forge flags are immediately hard to miss. The heavy weight of the cotton material, the strong stitching and bright colors are unlike any other flag I’ve seen.

It turns out the flag that I found was the same style, make and model used to drape the caskets of fallen soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, as well as public servants and dignitaries. In fact, according to Valley Forge, ““Every day, a Valley Forge U.S. flag honors a United States Veteran as he or she is laid to rest.”

That is certainly remarkable, but the legacy runs even deeper: “Valley Forge flags have draped the caskets of American Presidents for the last four decades, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and John F. Kennedy.” 

Valley Forge Flag Company is also tirelessly dedicated to an entirely 100% American-made flag, and have committed to make sure their entire supply chain is made in the USA. I ended up buying this eight foot flag, and hang it vertically from the eaves of my house on notable holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veteran’s Day. 

How to hang an American flag vertically

When hanging the American flag vertically, the canton, or the blue field with the stars, should always be to the upper left.

This is probably the most common mistake when it comes to flag etiquette. It seems logical to simply rotate the flag 90 degrees clockwise from it’s typical formation, putting the canton (also called the “Union”) to the right. But United States Flag Code clearly dictates that no matter the flag’s configuration, the blue field should always but to the upper left.

Although Congress created the Flag Code, there not currently any laws in place to enforce such a code, so it serves as a guideline.

Why is the American flag backwards on sleeves? 

In the Army, the American flag is “backwards” on the right sleeve so that it always looks like it’s charging into battle. 

In the now-outdated war method of lining up on a battle field, one soldier would be designated as the “Standard Bearer” to carry the Colors into battle. As everyone charged forward, the flag would tend to fly backward, with the blue union always forward no matter what side you’re seeing it from. 

So the next time you see an American flag patch that is “backwards”, see it like a soldier does: imagining hundreds of soldiers courageously following the Colors headlong into battle. 

Can you get a U.S. Flag that’s been flown over the Capitol?

Yes, any U.S. citizen can with a simple request and inexpensive payment from their Member of Congress. 

For nearly 80 years, the Architect of the Capitol has been sending flags that have flown over the United States Capitol to citizens and dignitaries alike. What started as a simple request by a Member of Congress in 1937 has developed into a full-scale program, with over 100,000 flag requests issued every year. 

To get your own U.S. flag that’s flown over the Capitol complete with a Certificate of Authenticity, you simply submit a request and $30 to your Congressman or Senator. Texans can start here.

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GOOD. Water stained; 83 degrees; 4.27 feet above pool. The bite for all species seems to improve when the water is being generated. This stirs the water, breaking up the thermocline. Bass are slow in shallow water with many smaller fish being caught on frogs, and spinnerbaits. Deeper bass bite is fair with Carolina rigs. Crappie are slow in the morning, but improve midday. Catfish are all over the lake in 20 feet of water and in 12 feet of water in the creek channels. White bass are on points in the south end of the lake near the dam. Report by Captain Lynn Atkinson, Reel Um N Guide Service. As the lake continues to drop fish are going to be moving to traditional summer locations pending the thermocline depth. Bass are good early morning on shallow main lake points with medium or deep diving crankbaits, and topwaters. Main lake ledges with Carolina rig shaky head and spoons. Brush piles shallower than the thermocline with Texas rigs, jigs or Carolina rigs. The thermocline is actively fluctuating and will continue to do so while lake level changes. Navigate with caution watching for floating debris, trees, and stumps. Report by Hank Harrison, Double H Precision Fishing.

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