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Sheldon has vexillology in his brain that has to get out …

TimeWarner Cable is advertising in Texas, which seems ordinary enough. But the company is using a series of commercials that display the Lone Star flag hanging upside-down on the flagpole. The flag’s white stripe is on the bottom, and the top point on the five-pointed star is pointing down, not up.

I spoke with a TimeWarner Cable marketer in Dallas on November 19, 2009, about a specific TimeWarner commercial with an upside-down Texas flag, and I was told that the commercial would be taken off the air (it was the “football game and tail-gating in Texas” commercial). I don’t know if it was actually removed or not, because I don’t watch television 24/7.

The image below, from the November commercial, is from a screen capture sent to me by a reader at The Daily Flag. There can be no mistake that the state flag of Texas is mounted upside-down on the pole.

upside down Lone Star flag in TimeWarner Cable commercial Nov 2009

Last night (12/08/09) while watching television I saw a different TW Cable commercial—using what looked like the same set as the commercial from November.  The flag is mounted on an indoor pole, and sits in the corner office of what appears to be a football coach.

Clearly, the commercial is designed specifically for the Texas market, but just as clearly—TimeWarner Cable has deliberately chosen to overlook this egregious error in filming the commercial.

The conglomerate TimeWarner Cable wants Texans to buy their cable service, but doesn’t care enough about Texans to edit or re-shoot their commercials so the Lone Star flag is not displayed upside-down. If you interviewed a thousand advertising companies, I’m sure they all would tell you that insulting your customers is bad for your business.

If I were considering a television cable system, I would think twice about buying service from a company that doesn’t respect its market. Did TimeWarner Cable produce state-specific commercials for Maryland, Ohio, and Tennessee—and carelessly display those states’ flags upside-down too? Because I’ve heard the folks in those states love football, and I expect that they too, are most particular about how their state flags are displayed.

Once again, the STAR on the Lone Star flag should be displayed pointing up, or if the flag is displayed vertically by the hoist, the star points to its own right—or left as viewed from in front of the flag. Link here for the flag statute in the Texas government code.

POW_MIA_flag The third Friday in September is honored as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The flag is flown in the full-staff position on this day. While the law addresses flying the POW/MIA flag on federal installations only (see the link above), civilians should fly the POW/MIA flag directly beneath the U.S. flag on the same pole. State flags should not be flown on the same pole on these occasions.

I am not a member of the National League of Families, but I think those who are would remind us all that is not an occasion of mourning. This is a day to be filled with hope and determination, and to remember that there is still much work to be done. From the League of Families website:

UPDATE:  September 2, 2009

AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR:  There are now 1,731 US personnel listed by the Defense POW/MIA Office (DPMO) as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.  The number of US personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is now 852.  During the League’s 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting, a League member announced that she had just received confirmation from JPAC that remains recovered earlier had been identified as those of her brother, MSGT Donald C. Grella, USA, of Nebraska, listed KIA/BNR on December 28, 1965 in South Vietnam.  Also now accounted for from that same incident are WO2 Jesse D.  Phelps of Idaho and CPL Thomas Rice, Jr. of South Carolina, both also US Army and initially listed as KIA/BNR.  Three Air Force personnel whose names were released as accounted for are Capt Robert J. Edgar of Florida, listed MIA in Laos on 2/5/68, remains repatriated 5/27/97 and identified 4/28/09; Maj Curtis D. Miller of Texas, listed MIA in Laos on 3/29/72, remains repatriated 8/2/06 and identified 2/12/08; and LtCol Russell A. Poor of Indiana, listed MIA in North Vietnam on 2/4/67, remains repatriated 6/14/07 and identified 5/26/08.  To each of these families, the League offers understanding and the hope that these concrete answers bring long-awaited peace of mind.  Of the 1,731 men still missing, 90% were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control.

You can help:  National League of Families

DKH_02Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is a combined event that is observed in the United States on September 17. This event commemorates the formation and signing of the Constitution of the United States September 17, 1787, and celebrates our American citizenship. What a great day to fly the American flag!

For an excellent overview of our Constitution see this article at the National Archives.

Citizenship Day, one of our newest federal holidays, was established and ratified by Congress on 2004.  It recognizes all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become US citizens.

DKH_09Oath of Allegiance is:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”


In some cases, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows the oath to be taken without the clauses:

“… that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by law … “

If USCIS finds that you are unable to swear the oath using the words “on oath,” you may replace these words with “and solemnly affirm.” If USCIS finds that you are unable to use the words “so help me God” because of your religious training or beliefs, you are not required to say these words.

horse and ride with Texas flag Last October on The Daily Flag, I wrote an article titled Texas Fold ‘Em, about folding the Texas flag. The gist of the article was that there was not an official way to fold the flag, although state offices have traditionally folded it the same way the U.S. flag is folded.

Early this summer, the Texas legislature passed a bill that codifies a protocol for folding the flag, and now Texans have an official method for folding the Lone Star Flag.

Authored by Sen. Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, and Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, the legislation goes into effect September 1, 2009.

SECTION 1.  Requires that this Act be known as the Rod Welsh Act, in honor of Rod Welsh, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Texas House of Representatives, who is primarily responsible for developing the method of folding the state flag of Texas established by this Act.

SECTION 2.  Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 3100, Government Code, by adding Section 3100.073, as follows:

Sec. 3100.073.  FOLDED STATE FLAG.  (a)  Provides that the state flag should be folded as follows: fold the flag in half lengthwise with the red stripe facing upward, fold the flag in half lengthwise once more, concealing the red stripe on the inside of the fold,  position the flag with the white star facing downward and the blue stripe facing upward,  fold the corner with the white stripe to the opposite side of the flag to form a triangle, continue folding the corners over in triangles until the resulting fold produces a blue triangle with a portion of the white star visible, and  secure all edges into the folds.

(b)  Provides that a folded state flag should be presented or displayed with all folded edges secured and with the blue stripe and a portion of the white star visible.

(c)  Provides that a folded state flag should be stored or displayed in a manner that prevents tearing or soiling of the flag.

SECTION 3.  Effective date: September 1, 2009.

Photo Credit: from the musical “Texas” in Palo Duro Canyon, Canyon Tx

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