Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ February 27 through March 4, 2012

We are flying the flag of the Dominican Republic this week on Dominican Republic Independence Day, at the request of a number of our staff members, and in honor of our team members who are from the Dominican Republic


Monday, February 27 Dominican Republic and Wyoming 






The flag of the Dominican Republic, as described by Article 96 of the Dominican Constitution, features a centered white cross that extends to the edges and divides the flag into four rectangles—the top ones are blue (hoist side) and red, and the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue. A large coat of arms featuring a shield with the flag design and supported by a bay laurel branch (left) and a palm frond (right) is at the center of the cross; above the shield, a blue ribbon displays the national motto: Dios, Patria, Libertad (God, Fatherland, Liberty). Below the shield, the words República Dominicana appear on a red ribbon (this red ribbon is depicted in more recent versions as having its tips pointing upward). In the center of the shield, flanked by three spears (two of them holding Dominican banners) on each side, is a Bible with a small cross above it and said to be opened to the Gospel of John, either to chapter one or chapter 8, verse 32, which reads Y la verdad nos hará libre (And the truth shall make you free). 


The blue on the flag stands for liberty, the white for salvation, the red for the blood of heroes. The civil ensign follows the same design, but without the charge in the center. The flag was designed by the leader of the Trinitarians, the founding father (Padre de la Patria) Juan Pablo Duarte. To create distinct flags for state and civil use, the coat of arms, adopted in 1844, was placed on the state flag. The motto had been the password of the Trinitarians.

Tuesday, February 28 Iraq and Alabama 


Wednesday, February 29 Ireland and Alaska 





The flag of the state of Alaska consists of eight gold stars, forming the Big Dipper and theNorth Star, on a dark blue field. The Big Dipper is an asterism in the constellation Ursa Majorwhich symbolizes a bear, an animal indigenous to Alaska. As depicted on the flag, its stars can be used as a guide by the novice to locate Polaris and determine true north, which varies considerably from a magnetic north.
The design was created by Benny Benson of Seward and selected from among roughly 700 entries in a 1927 contest.
More than 30 years before Alaska was to become a state, the Alaska Department of the American Legion sponsored a territorial contest for Alaskan children in grades seven through twelve. Winning the contest in 1927, the design of Benny Benson, a 13-year-old Alaska Nativeresiding at the Jesse Lee Home for Children in Seward, was chosen to represent the future of the Alaska Territory. Up to that time, Alaskans had flown only the U.S. flag since the territory was purchased from Russia in 1867. Benson's design was chosen over roughly 700 other submissions from schoolchildren territory-wide in grades 7–12. Most other entries featured variations on the territorial seal, the midnight sun, the northern lightspolar bears, and/or gold pans. To celebrate his achievement, Benson was awarded US$1,000 and an engraved watch.
Benny looked to the sky for the symbols he included in his design. Choosing the familiar constellation he looked for every night before going to sleep at the orphanage, he submitted this description with it:
The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaskan flower. The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly in the union. The Dipper is for the Great Bear—symbolizing strength.




Because I lived in Alaska for 14 years, I feel very connected to that state.  One of my favorite songs is the Alaska Flag Song, so I am including a link to a YouTube version that I particularly like:
Alaska Flag Song  I hope you enjoy it too.


Thursday, March 1 Israel and American Samoa 


Friday, March 2 Italy and Arizona 


Saturday, March 3 Jamaica and Arkansas 


Sunday, March 4 Japan and California




Design


The state flag flying at San Francisco City Hall
The first official version of the Bear Flag was adopted by the California State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Hiram Johnson in 1911 as the official state flag.
The 1911 statute stated:
The bear flag is hereby selected and adopted as the state flag of California. ... The said bear flag shall consist of a flag of a length equal to one and one-half the width thereof; the upper five-sixths of the width thereof to be a white field, and the lower sixth of the width thereof to be a red stripe; there shall appear in the white field in the upper left-hand corner a single red star, and at the bottom of the white field the words 'California Republic,' and in the center of the white field a California grizzly bear upon a grass plat, in the position of walking toward the left of the said field; said bear shall be dark brown in color and in length, equal to one-third of the length of said flag.
In 1953, the design and specifications for the state flag were standardized in a bill signed by Governor Earl Warren. The Californian state flag is often called the "Bear Flag" and in fact, the present statute adopting the flag, Gov. Code 420, states: "The Bear Flag is the State Flag of California."

"Monarch" the bear is used as a basis for the Californian flag
The modern state flag is white with a wide red strip along the bottom. There is a red star in the upper left corner and a grizzly bear facing left (toward the hoist) in the center, walking on a patch of green grass. The size of the bear is 2/3 the size of the hoist width and has a ratio of 2 by 1. The five-point star is actually taken from the California Lone Star Flag of 1836.
The bear on the current flag of California was modeled on the last wild Californian grizzly bear in captivity. The bear, named "Monarch", was captured in 1889 by newspaper reporter Allen Kelley, at the behest of William Randolph Hearst. The bear was subsequently moved to Woodwards Gardens in San Francisco, and then to the zoo at Golden Gate Park. After the bear's death in 1911, it was mounted and preserved at the Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park.
The flag is also used as the state ensign.
In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association surveyed its members on the designs of the 72 U.S. stateU.S. territorial, and Canadian provincial flags. After the survey was completed, NAVA members chose the flag of California to be ranked 13th out of the 72.



I hope you enjoy learning more about some of our State flags, as well as the flag of the Dominican Republic.


Juli

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