Denver Broncos Football –Road to the Super Bowl

The Denver Broncos are on their way to the Super Bowl with former Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning leading the way.

The Broncos currently hold a 12-4 winning record with their last regular season victory being against the New England Patriots. But how will they fare against the Carolina Panthers this Sunday? Truth is, we aren’t sure, but let’s take a look at their history and season in the meantime.

History

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The Denver Broncos entered the National Football League in 1970, ten years after they joined the American Football League. In the last 40 seasons, the Broncos have only suffered six losing seasons. In 1977, the Broncos made their way to their first Super Bowl. Since then, they have won eight AFC Championships and two Super Bowl Championships.

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In 2001, the team moved stadiums to the INVESCO Field at Mile High, now known as the Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Standing at 5,280 feet above sea level, Colorado’s altitude has been contributed to the team’s successes while at home.

New Coach

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New coach Gary Kubiak started January 18th, 2015 just six days after pervious head coach John Fox decided to part ways with the Broncos franchise. Kubiak had history with the Denver team as he was backup quarterback for John Elway from 1983-91. From 1995-2005, Kubiak worked as the Bronco’s offensive coordinator before moving to Texas to be head coach from 2006-13.

Will the help of a new coach and star quarterback be enough to defeat the Carolina Panthers this Sunday though? Can Peyton Manning, a man with many years of experience lead the Bronco to victory over Cam Newton? We’ll see this Sunday!

Popular Players

John Elway – QB – 1983-1999

Frank Tripucka – QB -1960-63

Floyd Little – RB – 1967-1975

Willie Brown –CB – 1963-1966

Gary Zimmerman – OT – 1993-1997

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Carolina Panthers –Road to the Super Bowl

Cam Newton and the rest of the Carolina Panthers will be on the field Sunday in hopes of defeating the 12-4 Denver Broncos.

Carolina, with a winning season of 15-1, will see if they can finally claim a Super Bowl win this Sunday. After making several playoff appearances in the past without a ring to show, will this be their year?

History

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The Panthers are a slightly younger team, only joining the National Football League Franchise in 1995. Placed in the NFC West division, the Panthers finished their first season with a record breaking performance of 7-9 for a first-year expansion team. However in 2001, they tied an NFL record for most losses in a season and broke the record for most consecutive losses.

The Panthers played their first season in the Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina while their current stadium was under construction. The Bank of America Stadium opened in the summer of 1996 and completely owned by the Panthers.

Coaching

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In 2010, Ron Rivera was hired on as head coach to replace John Fox who ironically moved on to coach the Denver Broncos, then the Chicago Bears. Rivera’s first coaching season ended 6-10 with Cam Newton winning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year for setting the record for most rushing touchdowns in one season!

This Season

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Although the Panthers waived running back DeAngelo Williams and lost top receiver Kelvin Benjamin to a torn ACL in preseason, they still had their best regular season in franchise history. Starting the season 14-0, it wasn’t until the 16th week that Carolina would be defeated by the Atlanta Falcons.

Now they aim to take home a ring for the first time in franchise history. Will their season end in victory or will they fall short? Watch with us Sunday to see how it all pans out.

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Australia Surveyed for Possible New Flag

Following in suite with New Zealand’s call for a new flag, Australia may finally be interested in changing their nation’s flag as well. While removing the Union Jack from the flag has been an obvious choice for some Aussie’s, the idea finally took off once New Zealand started making headlines.

Below we’ll discuss the history behind the current flag and the flag survey that revealed two possible alternative flags.

History

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The current Australian flag is a blue field with the Union Jack in the upper left hand corner. At the time of its creation, the Union jack was used to show Australia as a colony of Great Britain (who held power over half the world). In 1986, Australia finally cut constitutional ties with the United Kingdom; however the flag has since stayed the same.

Survey

In a survey running from December 16th to January 25th, Australians were asked to choose a favorite among six different flag designs.  More than 8,000 people sent in votes and with a lead of 31%, the Southern Horizon flag was most popular vote featuring Australia’s national colors of green and gold.

Southern Horizon

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Replacing the union jack in this new design is a wave-like feature starting in the bottom third of the flag.
Still on the flag is the predominantly blue background, Federation Star and Southern Cross.

Reconciliation

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In second place was the Reconciliation Flag with 28% of votes. The flag features red, yellow and black to recognize the indigenous Australians. This flag has a specific recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people while the other is a neutral design with links to the current flag.

Eureka

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In third, the Eureka Flag took 15% of votes though the majority of people rejected its design for negative associations with unions and extreme right wing groups.

The survey found 64% of participants were interested in changing the Australian flag, while 36% believed it should remain the same.

Will Australia finally change their flag or will the iconic flag stick its ground? Stay tuned as we follow this story!

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

 

State Flags through the Decades: 1970’s to 1980’s

We are nearing the end of our “State Flags through the Decades” series. We’ve had more than our fair share of state seal flags, a few red white and blue designs and a handful of non-blue flags. With just only the 1990’s to present, what will we find as we enter the last 40 years of state flags? A bit of the same? Maybe a surprise or two? Let’s find out.

Massachusetts – 1971

state flags through the decades Mass

The flag of Massachusetts features the states coat of arms in the center of a white flag. Inside the shield is an Algonquian Native American with a bow and arrow. The arrow points down as a symbol of peace. The white star to the left of the figure’s head stands for Massachusetts being the sixth state in the United States. The blue ribbon swept around the shield holds the state motto Ense Petit Placidam, Sub Libertate Quietem (“By the Sword We Seek Peace, But Peace Only Under Libery”). Above the shield is the state’s military crest: a bent arm holding a broadsword aloft. The swards blade up reminds us that through the American Revolution, liberty was won.

Montana – 1981

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The Montana flag is the Montanan state seal on a blue field. The shield itself contains a plow, shovel, and pick which rest in front of the Great Falls of the Missouri River. The ribbon at the bottom of the shield reads, “Oro y plata” which is Spanish for “Gold and silver”. Though this flag was originally adopted in 1905, the word Montana was added in 1981.

Wisconsin – 1981

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The Wisconsin state flag is again another blue flag with the state seal on it. The state motto flies in a banner above the seal reading “Forward”. Underneath is the state animal, a badger. Inside the shield is plow (agriculture), pick and shovel (mining), arm and hammer (manufacturing) and an anchor (navigation). The shield is flanked by a sailor and a yeoman to represent labor on land and water. Underneath the shield is a cornucopia to represent prosperity and abundance and 13 lead ingots representing mineral wealth and the 13 original states in the Union.

Minnesota – 1983

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The Minnesota state flag holds the state seal on a medium blue flag. The inner circle is surrounded by 19 fivepoint stars to show Minnesota as the 19th state in the union. Shown inside the seal is a bare-footed farmer plowing a field. The farmers axe, gun and powder horn rest on a stump. In the background an Indian rides by. The shield is surrounded by intertwined pink and white lady slippers (the state flower) and a red ribbon. At the top of the ribbon are the words “L’etoile Du Nord (Star of the North), the states motto. The dates flanking the motto are 1819, the year Forth Snelling was established and 1893, the year the original flag was adopted.

What a surprise, all state seals! Just one more post to finish off the state flags. Do you think next week will finish up with even more state seals? We wouldn’t be surprised. Until next time, My Friends.

State Flags through the Decades – 1950 to 1960

This week on “State Flags through the Decades”, we take a look at the 50’s and 60’s to see what design techniques were used during this period. Spoiler alert! There will be a lot of state seals and blue flags!

Virginia – 1950

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Virginia’s state flag is blue background with the state seal on it making this the 17th state flag of a similar design so far in our discussion. The seal has strong ties to Roman mythology as it features Virtus, god of heroism, righteousness, freedom and valor. Virtus holds a spear and sheathed sword while she stands over a fallen tyrannical foe, whose crown lies on the ground. The state motto lies beneath the scene translating to “Thus Always to Tyrants”. Red Virginia creepers and green leaves surround the scene.

Idaho – 1957

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The Idaho flag is a blue field with the state seal in the center. Under the state seal are the words “State of Idaho” in a red and gold banner. The seal itself depicts a women and a miner representing equality, liberty and justice. There are several symbols on the seal to represent Idaho’s natural resources: mines, forests, farmland and wildlife.  In the white banner written above the scene is “Esto Perpetua” which means “It is forever”.

Kansas – 1961

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Kansas’s state flag is also blue with the state seal, though it differs in that it includes a five-point star in each corner and is topped with a sunflower above the seal. Within the seal is a landscape with a rising sun, river and steamboat, settler’s cabin with a man plowing, wagon train heading west and Indians hunting bison. In the sky are 34 stars to show Kansas as the 34th state in the Union. The state motto is above the stars in an orange banner reading “Ad Astra per Aspera” which translates to “To the Stars through Difficulties”.

Nebraska – 1963

Nebraska, as you guessed, is a blue flag with the Nebraskan state seal in the center.  The state seal presents a banner atop it reading “Equality Before the Law”. Below the banner is a train steaming across some mountains in the background. There is a steamboat plying through the Missouri River. A cabin and sheaves of harvested wheat are pictured off to the left to portray the settlers and agriculture of the state. A blacksmith works at an anvil in the foreground.

Illinois – 1969

Illinois, the only non-blue flag of the 50’s and 60’s!

The seal on this flag differs from others as it isn’t encapsulated in a circle. There is a bald eagle carrying a shield with thirteen stars and stripes to represent the original thirteen states in the Union. The dates under the eagle represent the state’s first constitution (1818) and the year the current seal was adopted (1868). In the eagles mouth is a banner that reads “National Union, State Sovereignty”.

As we can very clearly see, the 50’s and 60’s were a time for state seals! While each state seal has ties to characteristics unique to its own individual state, each was still a flag with a state seal. Will this set the tone for the 70’s and 80’s or will another trend take over? Stay tuned next week for another edition of “State Flags through the Decades!

5 Worst State Flags Voted by NAVA

Earlier this week, we discussed the top five state flags as voted by the National American Vexillogial Association in 2001. These top five flags were unique and simple designs and two didn’t follow the norm at all as they contained no blue, unlike the other 46 U.S. state flags.

Sadly, to every top list there is a bottom list; the flags that didn’t make it to the top, middle or in-between. They lacked creativity and were voted the worst state flags. What will these bottom flags have in common? Design? Color? Will they all have state seals? Let’s find out!

72. Georgia (2001-2003)

Rank: 2.36

Reason: The flag “violates all principles of good flag design”.

worst state flags georgia

Georgia is a state with an ever changing flag. In the last 100 years they have adopted seven state flags with the 2002 version being one of its most boring designs. In 2001 after many lobbied for a new state flag, Governor Roy Barnes hurried for a replacement. This flag was designed by architect Cecil Alexander. In this flag Alexander included smaller versions of some of Georgia’s former flags in a banner with the words “Georgia’s History” written beneath it. Also in this flag was the Georgia state seal. In 2003, a new flag was accepted by a popular vote of 73.1%.

71. Nebraska

Rank: 2.98

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The Nebraska state flag is a blue field with the Nebraskan state seal. The design was officially adopted in 1963. After the NAVA declared Nebraska the second worst state flag in their survey there had been word to change it but that flag remains unchanged.

70. Montana

Rank: 3.00

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Montana is yet another flag that consists of a blue field and a state seal. The Montana state flag followed many other state flag designs in that it was a blue flag with a complex seal. This reason is why many of the U.S. state flags ranked so low during this survey.

69. Kansas

Rank: 3.01

Worst_State_Flags_kansas

And the pattern continues as we make our way to the Kansas state flag. Blue, state seal and the state name in all its glory. Though it dies have that state name written out and a sunflower adorning the seal, the lack of real creativity landed this flag towards to bottom of the worst state flags list.

68: South Dakota

Rank: 3.12

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While the South Dakota flag is not on a dark blue field it still has the state seal and was critiqued for the unnecessary repetition of the state name. The state name appears both inside and outside the state seal which is lined in triangles to represent the sun as South Dakota is known for being relatively sunny.

Voted Top 5 State Flags – 2001 NAVA Survey

In 2001, The North American Vexillogical Association allowed 300 non-members and 100 NAVA members to rank the 72 subnational and territorial flags of the United States and Canada. On a sale of 0 to 10, these 400 voters ranked favorite to least favorite flags.

Today we observe the top five state flags voted by the NAVA. We’ll take a look at their rank and discuss possible design aspects that put them at the top of the list.

1. New Mexico

Rank: 8.61

top state flags new mexico

New Mexico’s state flag has strong ties to its Native American Pueblo and Spanish roots which is represented in the colors. The design in the center of the flag is known as the Zia Sun symbol.

Zia’s sacred number is four and symbolizes the Circle of Life (four directions, four times of day, four stages of life, and four seasons). The circle in the center binds each of the four elements together. Whether it’s the simplicity or the fact that this is one of only four flags without the color blue, this flag topped the charts as the number on flag by NAVA.

2. Texas

Rank: 8.13

top state flags texas

The Texas flag is arguably one of the most popular state flags in the U.S. Officially adopted in 1933, the flag has equal horizontal lines of white and red that take up two-thirds the length of the flag. The other one-third of the flag is a vertical blue stripe with a white star in the center. A simple, clean design could have been what put the Texas state flag in the number 2 spot.

3. Quebec

Rank: 8.04

The Quebec flag is a blue field separated by a white cross. Each patch of blue (symbolizing Heaven) holds a white fleur-de-lis (a symbol of purity). The cross separating the four fleur-de-lis allow both sides of the flag to show the same image!

4. Maryland

Rank: 7.97

The Maryland state flag is quite unique in that it is the second state flag on the list to not hold the color blue. The second design aspect that makes it unique is the two coats of arms used upon it. The black and gold design is the coat of arms from the Calvert line. The red and white design is the coat of arms of the Crossland line, the family of Lord Baltimore’s mother.

5. Alaska

Ranked: 7.96

In 1927 Alaska adopted its flag. The flag holds eight gold stars in the shape of the Big Dipper and North Star on a field of dark blue. The Big Dipper symbolizes a bear, an animal well known in Alaska. One unique feature of this flag is that it can be used as a guide to locate Polaris and determine true north.

State Flags through the Decades – 1930-1940

Over the last month or so we’ve discussed state flag patterns and designs throughout the decades. In the 1800’s, flags focused on the theme of red, white and blue. From there they began to branch out, adding state mottos and unique colors. Will New Hampshire, North Dakota and Texas hold any surprises for us or will it be familiar a mix of red white and blue with state mottos?

New Hampshire – 1931

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The New Hampshire flag is a field of blue with the great seal located in the center. The state seal holds the USS Raleigh and is surrounded by a laurel wreath. There are nine stars in the wreath to show that New Hampshire was the ninth state in the union. The water in the seal represents the Harbor of Portsmouth and the yellow land is granite which stands for the rugged landscape and sturdy character of the people. The North American Vexillological Association ranked the New Hampshire flag as one of the top ten worst flags in the United States and Canada.

Texas – 1933

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The Texas state flag is known as the “Lone Star Flag”. The flag was presented in 1838 to the Congress of the Republic of Texas and became the 28th state in the union in 1845. By 1933 the state still not had an official state flag although the Lone Star had remained still in use and finally becomes official with the passage of the Texas Flag Code that same year.

The flag has one blue vertical stripe that is one-third the length of the flag, two equal stripes of white and red hang horizontally on the flag and a white five-pointed star is located in the center of the blue stripe. The “lone star” was an older symbol used to declare independence from Mexico. The red and white stripe days back to the Republic of Fredonia, which were Anglo and Native American tribes. The red and the white symbolized the two ethnic groups.

North Dakota – 1943

state flags ND

The flag of North Dakota is a dark blue field that displays a bald eagle carrying an olive branch and a bundle of arrows in its claws. The eagle holds a ribbon with the words “One nation made of many states” on it. The sunrise shaped above the ribbon and shield on the eagles chest have representations to the original thirteen states. The flag’s official proportions are 33:26 which is significantly shorter than many other state flags.

This time we saw a mix. Each flag mostly sticks to traditions such as blue flags with ties to state mottos or the original thirteen states. We did however see the Texas flag with connections to something other than state seals. What will the 50’s hold for us? Find out next week on “State Flags Through the Decades”.

Three Kings Day – Christian Holiday

 

For many, Christians the gifts don’t stop at Christmas end but January 6th with Three Kings Day. In Spain children traditionally receive their Christmas presents on this day from The Three Kings.

History

Three Kings Day is a holiday with biblical ties to baby Jesus and the three Kings. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the kings followed the divine star for 12 days across the desert to Bethlehem. Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar – representing Europe, Arabia and Africa – traveled by horse, camel and elephant to present three gifts to baby Jesus.

Traditions

Three Kings Swim

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In Prauge, Czech Republic, people take part in tradtion by swimming in the Vlatava River alongside the medieval Charles Bridge.

Parades

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In Warsaw, Poland, spectators wear crowns as they watch the traditional Epiphany parade and some children wear traditional inspired clothes of the kings.

In Spain, actors dress like the Three Wise Men and throw sweets to children. Floats carry each of the three Kings Men through the city.

Crucifix Diving

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Orthodox Christians in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Albania celebrated Three Kings Day or Epiphany Day by diving into freezing bodies of water to retrieve a wooden crucifix.

Bulgaria

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Men dance in the icy Tundzha River during the celebration of Epiphany Day.

More Photos

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More Spain

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Greece

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Source: IBT and Huffington Post

Interesting Flag Records by Guinness World Records

Today we will be discussing a few flag records from the Guinness World Records. These flag records include memory and speed, flag signings, expensive flags and the largest flag to be flown while skydiving.

In the past, we have talked about unusual flag world records, largest human flags, most flags flown simultaneously and the world’s largest flag. To follow those stories, click the attached links!

Flag Records

World’s Largest Flag Flown while Skydiving

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Who: Larry Compton

What: 1,436.22 Square Meters

Where: Doha, Qatar

When: December 10, 2015

Just last month, Larry Compton flew a 198.8 foot by 77.8 foot Qatar flag while skydiving. In an event organized by Lekhwiya, a Quatari sports club, Compton dove with a 15,459.34 square foot flag! Check out a video of the dive below.

Most National Flags Indentified in One Minute

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Who: Sweetluck Insan

How Many: 104 flags

Where: India

When: August 10, 2014

On August 10th, 2014, Sweetluck Insan identified 104 national flags in just one minute. Insan was 8 years old when she broke this record!

Most Signatures on a Flag

Who: The United Service Organizations

Where: United States

When: June 7, 2014

Beating the previous record by over 80,000 signatures, the USO collected 115,405 signatures from all around the world by both digital and physical submissions.

The flag measured at 80 feet by 120 feet and weighed about 350 pounds. People from all 50 states and seven countries signed the flag.

World’s Most Expensive Flag

most expensive flag world record

Who: Shackleton Flag

What: 116000 UK pounds

Where: London, United Kingdom

When: September 26, 2002

The world’s most expensive flag sold at auction was Sir Ernest Shackleton’s, Royal Standard. The flag was presented to Shackleton by the dowager Queen Alexandra before he set off on his voyage to the Antarctic and was only one of two things he saved when his ship sank. The flag was sold to an anonymous buyer in September 2002 for $180,600 or £116,000.

Source: Guinness World Record