|Big Bang Theory - "Fun With Flags", I think this show is very funny.|
We once had a guest onboard Denali Rose who asked the question: "What's with all of the Alaska flags everywhere? I don't even know what my state flag looks like."
That's an easy answer, we have a thing about our flag. We love it.
All Alaskan schoolchildren learn about how we got our flag, and they also learn the "Alaska Flag" song. Even now I could sing it all the way through if you asked, but it would be better if you didn't. I don't sing very well, and it has some very high notes in it. Me singing high notes, or yowling cat, you choose, personally I would choose the yowling cat.
Eight stars of gold on a field of blue
Geez, I get tears in my eyes just listening to it being sung.
Okay, back to the flag. In 1927, when Alaska was still a territory of the United States, the Territorial Governor asked the Alaska American Legion to host a contest for children in grades 7 thru 12, to create a design for the flag. He wanted to push statehood along, and figured this was a good way to do it. (Note, we didn't actually gain statehood until 1959.)
Benny Benson, a 13 year old boy who lived in a group mission home in Seward was the winner.
You'll find Alaska's flag on houses, boats, both commercial, and private, cars, poles, clothing, artwork, jewelry, and many more places.
Once the previous owners of Denali Rose, were transiting to a foreign country, and they only had the Alaska flag flying, not the US flag. Flag protocol says that you fly your country flag on your stern, and a courtesy flag of the country you are in on your outboard signal halyard of the main starboard spreader, after you check in with customs. (Translation for lubbers, farthest to the right on the main mast - tall thingy holding up main sail, spreader - the horizontal pieces that help support the mast, signal halyard - flag rope.) The customs officer inquired about the flag that was flying on the back of their boat, which country was the flag from? Jack replied that it belonged to Alaska, the officer nodded, and they got their stamp of approval. (Whew, crisis averted.)
Of course, the country of Alaska, you've heard of it, haven't you? We have our own currency too!
|My Facebook feed.|
We don't always put up our flags, but when we do, I always put up my Alaska flag right underneath the US flag. It's important to me.
|Proper order with the US flag flying higher than the Alaska flag.|
And sometimes I get my Women Who Sail burgee up also. (A burgee is a distinguishing flag, regardless of its shape, of a recreational boating organization. In most cases, they have the shape of a pennant. Wikipedia)
|If you are a women who sails, you can get yours at Mantus Marine. Don't forget to join the Facebook group.|
We have gotten a bit lazy this fall trip, and we haven't put up the flags at all. Proper US flag etiquette says that the US flag should be taken down at sunset, unless you illuminate it all night. Our hoisting halyard is not the easiest for me to manage, so laziness wins out, (unfortunately). We do our best to honor the flag for various reasons, that I won't go into here. Don't argue with us, it's our blog, and not your political forum.
This is my interim compromise, inside the pilothouse.
|Getting the flags up somewhere onboard.|
It's easy, it's fast, and it (mostly), satisfies my need to have flags up.
Do you have flags up on your boat, house, car? What kind do you like? Do you like Sheldon on "Fun With Flags"? Should I get holiday flags, after all, wouldn't they be great decor that don't take up much storage space?
As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.