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article imageOp-Ed: The Stars & Stripes not just for the 4th, says Sonoma flagmaker Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Jun 30, 2014 in Business
Sonoma - As Independence Day approaches, lots of people are eager to display the old "Red White and Blue," and one little business in town is busy filling last minute requests for an American Flag.
"That's all we do here at Flag Emporium is make and sell flags," said Lisa Phillips, manager and customer service representative. "We even rent flags," she said, if someone just needs a flag for a day or two." The former Nicholas Turkey Farm processing facility on Riverside Drive is home to Flag Emporium and half a dozen other local businesses.
People display flags for all sorts of occasions and reasons and flags or emblems in one form or another have been part of human history for centuries. The American flag as we know it to day, evolved over time. Once the flag had 13 stars to indicate the 13 colonies. Now our flag has 50 stars to signify the 50 states of our United States of America.
Lisa Phillips is manager/co-owner of Flag Emporium in Sonoma  CA. Her golden lab greets everyone at ...
Lisa Phillips is manager/co-owner of Flag Emporium in Sonoma, CA. Her golden lab greets everyone at the door.
Phillips pointed to the various shapes and sizes she had currently in stock of the American Flag. A wind-sock version of the "stars and stripes" caught this reporter's eye upon walking in the door. "Those are going fast, I only have a few left," she said.
Phillips then pointed to the drape-like style of flag used for balcony and table coverings. "Just about any thing you want to cover with a flag, can be done," she said.
Lapel pins, buttons, mugs, writing pens, too, Flag Emporium has the ability to put any flag or design into an array of shapes and sizes. Poles and hooks included if needed, just specify size, etc. "We can even design a flag, she said, right from scratch. Just give us an idea of what you want."
Since Sonoma is origin of the California State Flag, the Bear flag, Phillips' office had an extra large display of the familiar bear flag. "We mostly do on-line sales or phone orders," she said. Yet, Phillips likes to keep regular office hours during the week, just so people can stop by and look at the merchandise to have a better idea and understanding of what they are ordering.
Flag Emporium of Sonoma can have any flag made upon request  just about any size. Seen here is the C...
Flag Emporium of Sonoma can have any flag made upon request, just about any size. Seen here is the California bear flag in shower curtain size, or so.
The shop in Sonoma is affiliated with Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey. Using only the highest quality synthetic material, flags are made to endure outdoor conditions and use. Phillips was eager to hand out a brochure from Annin regarding the proper way to honor and display the American Flag.
In the little brochure and at the Annin web site, information is presented about the proper way to display and treat the old "Red, White and Blue." Annin is the oldest and largest manufacturer of flags in the United States. Since 1847 Annin has been making flags. People often ask the company all sorts of questions about flags.
Annin responds to etiquette questions based upon the US Flag Code, first adopted in 1923. The code is simply a guide for the displaying of the American Flag for civilian use and is only an official guideline, not a law or ordinance with penalties or fines for non-conformance.
Sonoma Valley Fire Dept. had the  Stars and Stripes  flying high above the crowd  estimated at about...
Sonoma Valley Fire Dept. had the "Stars and Stripes" flying high above the crowd, estimated at about 700 to 900 that day at the 56th Annual Sonoma Valley Memorial Day Observance on May 26.
For example with regards to older versions of the American Flag, "It can be displayed as long as the flag was once an official US flag," said Mary Repke, vice president of Marketing at Annin. "It will always remain so, she said, even the historical US flag such as the 13-star Betsy Ross is still considered an official American flag."
The United States flag was officially adopted as the national emblem in June of 1777. It is the fourth oldest national flag in the world. And, according to the Annin and the National Flag Foundation the flag should avoid touching the ground or the floor.
To learn more about the U.S. flag and proper etiquette of how to display and honor the flag visit The National Flag Foundation web site. Oh and..."Happy Independence Day!"
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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