Indy 500’s 100th Running – Memorial Day Weekend

While the Indy 500 and Memorial Day have shared the same weekend for some time now, this year is extra special for Indianapolis.

As the weekend approaches, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway prepares for its 100th running.  This year the event is completely sold out and the local blackout lifted for the first time since 1950! After months of construction and additions, the IMS has sold over 350,000 tickets to the event. However, what really makes this race day special to Memorial Day is the things that happen beforehand.

memorial-day-indy-500

The IMS has always found ways to incorporate the military and Memorial Day into Race Day. This year there are several events during the pre-race catered to our armed forces. Below is a list of some of those things.

11:07am – Military Silverado Laps

11:43am – Pearl Harbor Veteran Salute

11:47am – “American the Beautiful” performed by Military Trio with Purdue Marching Band

11:49am – Military Speech – General Anderson

11:55am – Presentation of Colors

11:57am – “Taps”

12:00pm – “God Bless America” – Indianapolis Children’s Choir

12:02pm – Military Flyover

12:19pm – Race Starts

Where will you be this Memorial Day weekend? Surrounded by race flags and speeding cars? A memorial parade? Remembering your beloved veterans at a National Cemetery? Let us know what your plans are in the comments below!

To learn more about how to fly your flag on Memorial Day and more check out this link.

V.A. Recognizes Tribute to Veterans – ‘Black Out’

Starting the project two and a half years ago, West Virginia-based owner-operator Chuck Timbrook transformed his 1999 Freightliner into “Black Out”, a custom tribute to military veterans featuring a special reference to the 167th Airlift Wing of the National Guard in his hometown, Martinsburg.

Black Out

black out VA

The Black Out features an all new black matte paint job and a grill featuring the words “POW/MIA” and “You are not forgotten,” with an American flag, again all black. On the back half of the rig are several more tributes to veterans in the form of custom graphics along with two black themed flags; the POW flag and a black and white American flag.

Veterans Affairs Recognition

Black out VA

Recently, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs surprised Timbrook with a certificate of appreciation.

The certificate was presented to Timbrook this weekend after he, volunteers and his rig delivered long-stem flowers to each veteran mom in the Martinsburg, West Virginia area. The certificate recognized his “outstanding support” and “tireless dedication”.

“To be honored by the Veterans Administration, and I never served. … It means a bunch to me and my family,” said Timbrook.

Over the next few months Black Out will be heading to 7 different veterans’ events and 8 parades. Though his main area of focus is the immediate four-state area, a trip to New York City may be in the works for Christmas festivities and one infamous parade.

http://www.overdriveonline.com/files/2015/05/Black-Out-1.jpg

Source: Over Drive Magazine

‘Flag Man’ Travels Cross-Country to Honor Fallen Soldier Funerals

For over a decade, ‘Flag Man’ Larry Eckhardt of Little York, Illinois, has traveled the country attending funerals of fallen soldiers killed overseas and lining the streets with flags.

Flag Man’s History

Flag Man

Armed with hundreds of American flags, Flag Man learns the procession route and places miles of flags along each side of the road. As they always do, strangers begin to line the highways and often join the procession to pay respects.

Eckhardt follows two motto’s: Nothing is more important as honoring a fallen soldier, and there’s no such thing as too many flags.

Under One Flag

In 2014, Eckhardt took 680 flags representing one of every 10 service members who had died since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

The event included a ceremony to honor Eckhardt, New York City firefighter Michael Weinberg and Marine Corporal Zach Reiff. All men were connected by a single flag, dedicated to Weinberg after he died at Ground Zero on 9-11. The flag made its way into eckhardt’s collection and later flew at the route of Reiff’s funeral, who died while serving in Afghanistan.

Reiff’s parents now have that flag.

Watch the full story here.

Source: Wide Open Country and WQAD 8

International Firefighters’ Day

May 3rd was International Firefighters’ Day. In honor of this international holiday, we at Collinsflags.com wanted to thank firefighters worldwide by sharing a few amazing stories from the States. Stories that will make you laugh while others will bring you a sense of honor and courage.

The Brave

International_Firefighters'_day

In the Phoenix-area, a photo of a firefighter carrying an American flag out of a recycling plant fire went viral last month.

Tempe Fire Department Capt. Nick Ells noticed the American flag near the fire and set out to save it from flames.

“I have a great respect for our country’s flag,” said Ells to The Arizona Republic. “When I saw that it could be damaged from smoke, I took the flag down from its pole to get it out of harm’s way.”

Source: KTAR News

The Honorable

national_firefighters_dayJAX

In Jacksonville, Florida, St. Johns County Firefighter Brian Bausch spends his free time cleaning up and restoring the grave sites of local veterans.

Bausch noticed the graves in early March when looking for homeless people to help. Covered in dirt and flagless, Bausch decided to get his hands dirty. He has restored over 70 graves sites adding an American flag as the finishing touch, even doing research and posting their draft cards in home-made plaques.

Source: News 4 Jax

The Fun

viral_firefighter

Last week, the St. Louis Fire Department had a little fun with the Kansas City Police Department as the department’s elevator malfunctioned, leaving officers stuck between floors.

Gregg Farve of the St. Louis Fire Department tweeted this photo during the rescue, which later went viral!

None of the officers were hurt. “Everyone was physically safe, but egos were severely injured,” the department said.

Source: wpxi.com

With that, we again thank all our amazing firefighters worldwide for all the dedication, hard work, and little laughs you provide us with everyday.

Iwo Jima Flag Photo Under Investigation

Many of us are familiar with the iconic Iwo Jima flag raising photograph taken during World War II. In latest news, an investigation has begun on a possible mistaken identity in the photo. Were the originally identified Marines and Navy man properly named?

If you’ve done your research you know that the photo wasn’t capturing the first flag raised at Iwo Jima but the second! However, in November 2014 a second confusion arose, when Eric Krelle of Omaha, Nebraska, and Stephen Foley, or Wexford, Ireland, started questioning the identity of one of the men in the photo. The Marines announced on Saturday they will be looking into the matter.

History

Iwo Jima_Flag_Raising

On February 23, 1945, during an intense battle against the Japanese, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal shot the flag raising shot. Rosenthal was not able to gather the names but after the photo gained popularity, President Franklin Roosevelt asked the military to identify the men.

Eventually the Marines listed the men as Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Harlon Block, Michael Strank, Franklin Sousley and John Bradley, who was a Navy corpsman.

Strank, Sousley and Block were killed during the battle at Iwo Jima.

The Investigation

The six servicemen had been accepted for decades until Foley, recovering from an operation, began to notice possible discrepancies in the picture. He soon called Krelle who maintains a website devoted to the Marines’ 5th division.

Once given a second look, the men concluded that the man originally identified as Sousley was actually Harold Henry Schultz, a private first class from Detroit. If this is true, the figure who was thought to be Bradley was Sousley and Bradley wasn’t in the photo at all.

Possible Evidence

Iwo_Jima_investigation

Some of the discrepancies the men found were:

Bradley wearing uncuffed pants in the famous photo but other photos show him in tightly cuffed pants.

The bill of a cap is visible under the helmet in the photo but Bradley doesn’t have a cap visible in any other photos taken that day.
The man in the photo is wearing a cartridge belt with ammunition pouches and a pair of wire cutters hanging off his belt. However, a Navy corpsman like Bradley would usually be armed with a sidearm not an M-1 rifle and would have no need for wire cutters. Other photos from the day show him wearing what appears to be a pistol belt with no ammunition pouches.

Bradley’s son, who wrote a best-selling book called “Flags of Our Fathers,” over the flag raisers, was shocked to hear the Marines were investigating the identity of the man originally thought to be his father.

What’s your take on this? Could it be a case of mistaken identity? If so, why didn’t Bradley own up to not being one of the six years ago? Leave us your thoughts below.

Source: CBS News

Mauritius – National Flags

At Collinsflags.com we carry over 75 national flags ranging from the popular to lesser known. One flag/nation many might not recognize is the flag of Mauritius. The Republic of Mauritius is a volcanic island located in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar.

History

mauritius_landscape

Uninhibited until 1638, the Dutch named the island after Prince Maurice van Nassau. After the Dutch abandon the island in 1710, the French came across the island, using it as a trading port between Europe and the East. From the 1810-1968, the British took power over the island until they relinquished control of the colony to the people of the island.

Mauritius Flag

Muaritius_national_flag

The flag of Mauritius is known as Les Quatre Bandes or the Four Bands. Adopted upon independence on March 12th, 1968, the flag consists of four horizontal bands of equal width, coloured red, blue, yellow and green. The red stands for the bloodshed at the time of slavery and colonization and the struggle for independence and freedom. The blue symbolizes the Indian Ocean and green for the lush vegetation on the Island. The Yellow represents the golden sunshine and bright future for the nation.

Fun Facts

muaritius_Facts

The Dodo is the national bird but is an extinct species as they were only found on this island.

Sugar cane is the major cash crop grown on the island and take up over 80% of the islands land.

The official languages of this country are French, Bhojpuri, Creole and English. Several different races inhibit the island like Hindus, Muslims and Creoles with the primary religion being Catholics.

Mauritius doesn’t maintain a standing army.

Mauritius is the richest and most densely populated among other nations of Africa.

To learn more about the flag make or order your Mauritius flag today head over to CollinsFlags.com today!

Sources: Buzz South Africa & Wikipedia

Olympic Torch 2016 – Popular Flag Photos during the Torch Relay

Thursday began the Olympic torch race for the 2016 Summer Games with a ceremonial lighting of the flame in Greece.

History of the Olympic Torch

Olympic_Torch

Since the Berlin Olympics in 1936, the Olympic torch relays have begun in Olympia, Greece before being flown or shipped to its next leg of the race. The same will be happening this year as the torch makes its way on a 6 day tour through Greek cities before flying to Switzerland for a tour before flying again to Brazil where it will trek through 329 Brazilian cities ending in Rio de Janeiro.

Olympic Torch Rio 2016

Olympic_Torch_Brazil

In this photo, President Dilma Rouseff holds the Olympic torch accompanied by several other Brazilian politicians.

The highest part of the torch stands for the Brazilian sky, which shines and illuminates everything it touches. The golden color also represents the gold medals athletes seek at the games. The green tier of the torch represents the mountains in their natural beauty with the green curves of its hills and valleys. The three blue tiers represent the sea, which may associate with the landscapes of Brazil and Rio. The last tier is for the ground, the land that holds Brazil’s history.

Past Torch Relays

United Kingdom

Olympic Torch England

Flags lined the streets as the Olympic torch was carried through a town in England on its way to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Greece

Olympic Torch_Greece

Greek high jumper Dimitrios Chondrokoukis lit a cauldron with the Olympic torch at the Acropolis in Athens on its way to the 2012 London Olympics.

China

Olympic_Torch_China

In 2008, Chinese gymnast Li Ning lit the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics while “flying” through the stadium. Behind him flew the China Peoples Republic flag.

Interested in learning more about the Olympics and nations that have participated in them? Stay tuned as we will be posting more history and updates as the games date closes in. In the meantime read our story over the 120th Olympic Anniversary and shop Collinsflags.com for all your flag needs!

Source: Rico2016.com & Wikipedia

120th Anniversary of the Olympics – A Look into the First Inaugural Year

The 1896 Summer Olympics was a multi-sport event in Athens, Greece from April 6-15, 1896. Since Ancient Greece was where the Olympic Games first began, Athens was the obvious choice for the inaugural modern Games.

 Most Successful Athlete

Carl Schuhmann of Germany won a total of four gold medals to become the most successful athlete of the inaugural Olympics. Schuhmann participated in gymnastics, wrestling and weightlifting but only medaled in gymnastics and wrestling.

Top Five Nations by Medal Count

olympics

United States

Gold: 11 Silver: 7 Bronze: 2

Total: 20

Greece

Gold: 10 Silver: 17 Bronze: 19

Total: 46

Germany

Gold: 6 Silver: 5 Bronze: 2

Total: 13

France

Gold: 5 Silver: 4 Bronze: 2

Total: 11

Great Britain

Gold: 2 Silver: 3 Bronze: 2

Total: 7

Events Held

In 1896 the events held were Athletics (Track events), Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Weightlifting, and Wrestling. Today there are more than over 25 sports played in the Olympics!

Fun Facts

The Olympic flag wasn’t created until 1914 by Pierre de Coubertin, co-founder of the modern Olympic Games.

The first Olympics featured 280 participants and 13 nations. There were 60,000 participants at the first Olympics and only men competed.

What will this year’s Olympics hold for us as we near Rio 2016 in a few short months? Are you going? Tell us what you’re most excited for in the comments below! Also, stay tuned for our Modern Day Olympics blog. Next, on the blog!

Cubs Win Flag – Sports

If you’re from the Mid-West chances are you’re either a Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs or St. Louis Cardinals fan when it comes to baseball. And if you’re a cubs fan, you’re probably sitting on the edge of your seat every game dreaming of the next Cubs World Series win.

Chicago_Flag

One thing the Cubs are known for, aside from not holding a World Series title since 1908, is fly win and loss flags over the stadium.  In what soon became a tradition after the construction of the scoreboard in 1937, the Cubs have flown these flags over the stadium for the last 79 years!

History

Chicago flag

Established in 1876, the Cubs were a founding member in the National League. The Cubs are tied for the distinction of being the oldest active U.S. Professional sports club with the Atlanta Braves, which began playing in 1876 as the Boston Red Stockings. In 1906 the team set a record of 116 wins which still stands today. However, they also hold the longest championship drought of any major North American pro sports team, not winning the World Series in 107 years.

Names & Nicknames

Names: Chicago White Stockings (1876-1889), Chicago Colts (1890-1897), Chicago Orphan (1898-1902), Chicago Cubs (1903-present)

Nicknames: The Cubbies, the Lovable Losers, the Boys in Blue, the Blue Bears

Curse of the Billy Goat

Chicago flag

In 1945, during game 4 of the World Series, owner of Billy Goat Tavern Billy Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field because the smell of his pet goat was bothering fans. In a fit of anger, Sianis declared, Them Cubs, they aint gonna win no more.” The cubs haven’t played in a World Series since.

Retired Numbers

#42 Jackie Robinson on April 15, 1997

# 14 Ernie Banks on August 22, 1982

#26 Billy Williams on August 13, 1987

#10 Ron Santo on September 28, 2003

#Ryne Sandberg on August 28, 2005

#31 Ferguson Jenkins on May 3, 2009

Similar National Flags – Romania, Chad, Moldova and Andorra

Though there are around 200 national flags in the world, many of them look quite similar in color and design. Often these similar designs are purely coincidental, but other times these nations have ties to one another and are influenced by another flag

Below the Andorra, Romania, Moldova and Chad flag all share a very similar color scheme of blue, yellow and red in a vertical thirds design.

Romania

Romania_Similar flags

Pantone: blue 280c, yellow 116c, red 186c

Ratio: 2:3

The similarities between the Romania and Chad flag have caused international discussion. In 2004, Chad requested the United Nations examine the issue but Romania refused a flag change. Another flag similar to Romania’s is the flag of Moldova. The difference lies in the 1:2 ratio, lighter blue shade and the Moldova coat of arms in the center of their flag.

Chad

Chad_Similar National Flags

Pantone: blue, 281c, yellow 116c, blue 186c

Ratio: 2:3

The flag of Chad is similar to that of Romania and Andorra with the exception of Romania’s flag being a lighter shade of blue. Adopted in June 0f 1959, the Chad flag has not changed despite the many political upheavals within the country.

Moldova

moldova_ similar national flags

Pantone: blue 293c, yellow 109c, red 186c

Ratio: 1:2

Moldova is a landlocked country located between Romania and Ukraine. As part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Moldova declared its independence on August 27, 1991.

As referred to in Romania’s description, Moldova’s national flag is very similar. The major difference is the coat of arms. The coat features a dark golden eagle holding an Orthodox Christian cross in its beak. The eagle holds an olive branch to symbolize peace. The red and blue shield on the eagle’s chest holds the traditional symbols of Moldova.

Andorra

Andorra Similar National flags

Pantone: Blue 072 C, Yellow C, Red 199 C

Ratio: 7:10

Andorra is a small, landlocked microstate located between Spain and France. Known as the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, Andorra has a population of 85,000 people.

The flags design is linked to France and Spain, having the tricolor design with blue and red similar to France and red and yellow of Spanish inspiration. The motto on the coat of arms reads Virtus Unita Fortior means “Virtue United is Stronger”.

Stay tuned as we compare the Netherlands and France.