Happy Flag Day 2012

June 14, 2012

“Red, White and Blue…Fly ‘Em Proud, Fly ‘Em High” Music and lyrics available at Dianne Bakers website, songsalive.com

The Origin of the Olympic Rings Flag

June 11, 2012

No event better embodies the spirit of international cooperation than the Olympic Games. Every four years, thousands of athletes from across the globe come together to compete on the world’s stage. Indeed what was said at the 1908 London Olympics is still true today, “The most important thing is not to win but to take part!”

Olympic Flag

The enduring symbol of international cooperation is the Olympic Rings. These five rings, blue, yellow, black, green and red represent the parts of the world competing in the games – the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. While many think that each color represents a continent, this isn’t the case. The six colors, each ring and the white background, represented at least one of the colors present in the flag of each county that participated in the Games of the first five Olympiads.

There is also some confusion about how the rings symbol came about. A common myth is that they originated from carved stones found at Delphi in Greece, while in reality the opposite is true. The 1936 Olympic Games saw the first Torch Relay and part of the route brought the Olympic Torch to Delphi where organizers had erected a 3 foot high block of stone with the five interlocking rings chiseled on each side. After ceremonies during the Torch Relay, the stone was left in place and “discovered” twenty years later by two British authors who published a book with their findings,

In the stadium at Delphi, there is a stone altar on which is carved five rings symbolic of the quinquennial timing for the celebrated games. The design of the five circles on the Delphi altar is today the symbol of the Olympic Games. The circles form a link between ancient and modern Olympics…and are considered by 3 experts to be 3,000 years old

The true origin of the Olympic Rings comes from much more recent history. The creator of the rings was Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who debuted the Olympic Flag design in 1914 at the IOC’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Modern Olympic Movement. The interlocking rings were mostly likely inspired by the USFSA, or the French sport-governing body. The USFSA was born out of a merger between two groups and its logo, symbolizing the union of the two organizations, featured two interlocking rings. This logo debuted in 1896 and is widely believed to have inspired Coubertin’s classic flag design.

No matter its origin, the Olympic Rings have stood the test of time. The interlocking rings represent international cooperation and continue to serve as a powerful symbol around the world.

Virgin Islands

May 29, 2012

Flag of the Virgin Islands

When Rear Admiral Summer Ely Whitmore Kitelle was made governor of the island in April 26, 1921, Mr. White, captain of the Grib and Percival Wilson Sparks, a cartoonist were asked for flag design suggestions. Sparks drew the design on paper, transferred it to cotton, then had his wife and sister-in-law embroidered the design.The flag has a white base with a yellow bald eagle in the center, and the shield of the Unites States of America on its chest. In one talon is a laurel branch and in the other three arrows each signifying the main islands of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. To either side of the eagle are the letters V and I, the initials for the Virgin Islands. The US Virgin Islands’ flag was adopted into the United States on May 17, 1921.

My Pearl Harbor Trip and a Tour of the USS Arizona

March 1, 2011

This January, I got the chance to take the vacation I always wanted to go on…to Hawaii. Despite a solid week of tourist-packed trips, events, and food; one thing I had to see  before I left was Pearl Harbor. If you ever get the chance, please take it. I had no idea what to expect.

I have read about Pearl Harbor and seen the movies but you don’t really understand the sacrifices made on December 7th, 1941 until you are there, staring out into the Harbor with memorials scattered across the water. My gallery of pictures:

*Numbers inside of brackets refer to the order of the gallery

This first shot (1) in my gallery below is looking out the harbor to the USS Arizona and the white bouys in the water are where other ships were sunk. All of these ships held thousands of men and were not small by any means. This kinda gives you a small understanding about the size of the loss that morning. There is also a submarine (2) in the harbor which was the USS Bowfin which was a submarine launched on December 7th, 1942 and eventually set up as a memorial to show the layouts and history of the US submarines.

When you arrive, there are many things to see while you wait to go out for the USS Arizona tour, which is by far the most popular attraction. Throughout the walking area are many markers (can see in the bottom of #2 picture) giving thanks and remembrance to ships, submarines and lives that have been lost in wars throughout America’s history. There is a submarine museum, gift shop, many photo locations, places to eat, etc. It is well organized and the premises were spotless.  They definitely take pride in the location.

There are many different parts of the ships and subs at the harbor that offer an understanding of how things were located on the ships at the time of attacks. The Conning Tower (3) internals show how tight the inside of the Conning Tower (5) actually was. The conning tower of a submarine is where the steering was done as well as where the missiles were launched from. (4) is a picture of the Polaris A-3 Submarine launched ballistic missile. This missile had a range of 2,880 miles! It was launched by a gas launch system and when it reached the surface, the rocket motor ignited and became airborn.

(8) is a picture of yours truly looking out through a replica periscope that was used on the subs of the time. The distance of the periscope could be adjusted via controls on the side. From the view I was looking out, I could see the Arizona over the Conning Tower in picture (5).

(9) “Kaiten” torpedoes were Japanese suicide torpedoes. The Japanese modified these from their pre-existing torpedoes to allow them to be controlled by the “pilot”. The first ones made allowed the pilot to escape but the ones afterwards trapped the pilot inside. Only two ships were sunk by these torpedoes though due to extremely difficult steering and a near impossibility to see.

(10)40 mm quad turret which armed almost all major battleships for US. These turrets were mainly anti-aircraft and could fire a 2 lb. shell 33,000 feet at 120 rounds/min! These turrets were controlled by two men, one on each side. I couldn’t imagine how scary it would be to fight from these being extremely open to fire from the enemy.

As youcan see, there are quite a few things to read about and look around at before you go out to the Arizona Memorial which is the main attraction. I tried viewing everything but it would literally take you a full day to take all of it in.

Reading about all of the history of the war and ships really helps you understand how the attack took place and helped me understand more about the Arizona before going out on our USS Arizona tour.

The Arizona tour starts with a 15-20 minute movie showing the ship and harbor before the attack and setting the stage of the War and why the attack took place. I learned more through the movie than anything else. It really gives you a lot of the lost details of the war, both on the American side as well as the Japanese side.

When entering the theater, everyone received a card with a soldier on it who died on the ship that morning. The cards told us about that person’s hobbies, family, lifestyle, hometown, etc. It did a great job of making you understand that 1000’s of people just like you and I died that day.

See, before going to the harbor, I thought of that day as a group of people died. After coming back from the harbor, you realize that 1000’s of individual people died. People who had families, people who had hobbies, people who wrote home to their family, people who loved our country, people just like me and you…died that day.

Following the movie, you set out on a small ferry to the Arizona memorial. Above the memorial is an Amerian flag…(11)

I took 10 pictures of the memorial going out on the ferry. It was just a breathtaking sight and the picture by no means does it justice. Before I tell you more about the memorial, please check out picture (24) to understand the layout of the memorial over the actual wreckage. The parts of the ship in brown are the parts still visible today.

One thing about December 7, 1941 that I didn’t know before the trip was that on that morning, most of the soldiers on the ships were either inside cleaning up or washing the deck. Also, the reason for the sinking was because of a Japanese vertical bomber (which means a plane dropped a bomb that traveled straight down) which dropped a bomb which landed in the front magazines. The bomb caused much of the ammunition (over 1,000,000 lbs.) to errupt, instantly killing the ship and its men alike. Over half of all of the fatalities that day came from the USS Arizona.

1,177 people died on the ship. Only 105 people were able to be removed from the wreckage following the sinking.

Up to that point in time, the single bomb killed more people at one time than any other single event in the history of the world…


(12) This picture shows oil which is still coming up from the ship today. I had read that oil was still rising before I got there but I was shocked to see exactly how much oil was in the water. In some places, it is estimated that in 2009 there were still 500,000 gallons of oil remaining in the hull. The water surrounding the memorial had traces of oil…very creepy though to think that the ship is still “alive” in a sense. Many of the survivors say that the oil will continue to rise until all survivors have passed away.

(13) The most visible remnant of the ship is the front gun turret. These heavy turrets could pierce any ships armor but do to the quick movement of the airplanes, became nearly obsolete that morning.

(14)(15)Both of these pictures show what is remaining of the flag pole that flew over the Arizona. I am unsure of how high this climbed, but I can imagine by the size of the pole that it must have been extremely tall.

(16)Shows the names of many of the men and women who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. 1,177 people passed away that one day on the USS Arizona alone.

(17)A list of men and women who survived the attacks but have since passed away. These men returned to have their ashes buried with the Arizona to be buried with their fellow soldiers.

(18)”Mooring bitts”. When docked, these posts held the ropes that kept them in port.

(19)A concrete landing that was built after the ship sunk.

(20)Plaque announcing official memorial. This memorial was built in 1958.

(21)Flags on the memorial.

(22)Inside of memorial. This shot is taken as you first step in the memorial. Looking at the picture, the turret and flag pole is on the right side, through the slit in the back is the list of names, and on the left is the mooring bitts and landing.

(23)The white buoy shows the end of the tail of the ship. Overall, it was over 600 ft. long. What you see in the water is the remnants of the 2nd gun turret.

(24)Layout of memorial over ship. The areas in brown are the areas that are still visible today.

(25)Plaque giving thanks for contributions to the memorial.

Overall, you will spend around 15-20 minutes on the memorial and it is quite the sight to see. Since going to the Harbor, I have to say that I give more thanks for our current soldiers both overseas and in the states as well. I am extremely grateful for the chance to see all of the history and I highly recommend trying to take the trip if possible. You can make a whole day out of the trip if you have the time…there is just so much to take in. Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and please comment with anything that will add to the blog!

If you are looking for an American, Military or Support Our Troops flags, please visit our site at Carrot-Top.com. With over 30 years experience in the flag industry, we have committed ourselves to giving our customers what they want! Thank you for reading.

The flag of Australia, good as!

December 28, 2010

Last year, one of my closest friends moved across the world to study abroad in Brisbane, Australia. Throughout the year it has been fascinating to learn about Australian culture from his perspective, in particular regarding the phrases he has picked up since moving there. For example, in order to express that something is very good he will say “good as” and then nothing. At first my reaction was always “Good as what?” But that’s it, just “good as”, an unfinished simile. In one month he will be returning home for two months and to commemorate his return to the States I would like to explore the history and design of the Australian flag.

Blue and Red Ensign Flags of Australia

The Australia flag’s first appearance was on January 1, 1901, selected from among over 30,000 other designs submitted in a public competition. The design was a combination of five very similar entries and was named the “Commonwealth Blue Ensign”. In 1903 King Edward VII approved this flag as well as a Red Ensign flag for Australian use. The blue was intended for strictly official and naval use whereas the red was intended for merchant fleet use. Naturally, this caused a great deal of confusion to the public who began using the two flags interchangeably. It was not until the Flag Act 1953 that the Commonwealth Blue Ensign flag was officially adopted as the emblem of Australia. In 1998 an amendment was passed on the Flag Act 1953 so that the Australia flag can only be altered by agreement of the Australian people.

The design of the Commonwealth Blue Ensign contains three elements on a blue background: the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross. The Union Jack is a representation of Britain’s settlement of Australia in January 1788. It is located in the upper left hand corner. Directly beneath it is the Commonwealth Star which has seven points, six points to represent the six states and a seventh point to show the unity of the six states. On the fly of the flag is the Southern Cross, a constellation only visible from the Southern hemisphere to denote Australia’s geography. The Commonwealth Blue Ensign flag is first and foremost a sign of cultural identity and pride, demonstrating Australia’s commitment to their heritage and tribute to unity.


Katie Kruck
Carrot-Top Industries Employee / Accounts Receivable

From Russia, With Love…

October 5, 2010

I will be honest. The subject of Russia does not really come up in my daily conversations often. So when I heard that the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, had commissioned and donated a monument in honor of those who died in the September 11th attacks I was impressed! Then I found out the kicker: this was all done in 2006! 2006!! I was absolutely shocked that I had not heard about this. The monument is absolutely huge, it is in NYC in sight of the Statue of Liberty, it was designed and created by one of the most prominent living Russian sculptures and where was the press during all of this?

Standing at 100 ft tall, the monument weighs a total of 175 tons. It had to be shipped from Russia in six sections, each weighing 28-63 tons each! I cannot imagine what the shipping must have cost. The sculptor, Zurab Tesereteii spent months here in the U.S. having it assembled until it was unveiled on September 11, 2006 as a “gift from the people of Russia.” It is constructed of steel frame with copper on top and the pictures of the monument in the sunset are really beautiful—the copper reflects the light very well. There is a huge tear right down the middle, and inside this tear is an enormous nickel-plated teardrop. This puppy alone is 40 ft tall and 4 tons! Amazing. One of the most touching parts of the monument is the base. It is similar to the Vietnam Memorial Wall, where it has the names of 3000+ victims of the 9/11 attacks and the ’93 World Trade Center bombing, and these are etched in granite.

People say that Mr. Tesereteii came up with the idea when he was walking the streets of Moscow and experiencing the grief people were feeling over the 9/11 attacks. A teardrop formed in his mind and the monument grew from this little spark. Mr. Tesereteii also created the sculpture outside of the U.N. in NY called “Good Defeats Evil”—this sculpture is made entirely of junk American and Soviet missiles. So again I ask, where were the newspapers? How come this isn’t as well known? It is such a powerful and touching memorial! Russia, I will do America the honor and say “Thank you! Thank you for such a touching gift in the face of such a terrible tragedy.” It is so awesome to know that even at the worst of times the global community can really pull together, and we are all not so different. And I, I will do my best to think of Russia more often!


The flag of Puerto Rico

August 5, 2010
Puerto Rico Flag

Puerto Rico Flag

The flag of Puerto Rico is one of 5 U.S. territory flags. The first Flag of Puerto Rico originated in 1892, but was not flown until March of 1897 during the Puerto Rican Independence movement. The revolt was against the rules that the Spanish had set in place for Puerto Rico. It was called the attempted coup of Yauco, where the Puerto Ricans attacked the barracks of the Spanish Civil Guard. In 1898 Puerto Rico was able to claim it’s independence from Spanish Rule when it joined the United States.

The original Puerto Rican flag had with 3 red stripes and 2 white stripes. The triangle had a light blue tone to it and a 5 point star in white.  The red stripes represented the blood from the warriors during the revolt. The white stripe represented victory and peace. The white star represented the Island of Puerto Rico. The blue triangle represented the sky and the coastal waters.

Puerto Rico on Independence Day

Puerto Rico on Independence Day

The only flags that were allowed to fly in Puerto Rico were the Spanish flag from 1492 until 1898 and the United States flag from 1898 to 1952. On June 10th 1948, a bill was signed to make displaying the Puerto Rican flag illegal. To display the Puerto Rican flag in public was considered a felony. The bill was known as La Ley de la Mordaza (The Gag law). The only flag that could be flown on the island was the United States flag.

In 1952, the Governor of Puerto Rico adopted the Puerto Rican flag and proclaimed it as the official flag. The triangle was changed to a dark blue. A variation of the Cuban flag, it represents the people of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The flag of Puerto Rico symbolizes Protest, Defiance and Pride among the people of this Island. Puerto Ricans are very proud of their flag, this design is currently used today.

Joseph M Acaba was the first astronaut of Puerto Rican descent to carry several flags into outer space as a symbol of his heritage aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on March 15 2009.

The Mexico Flag and it’s meaning

June 7, 2010
Mexico Flag

Mexico Flag

If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE tropical vacations!  The hot weather, beach, ocean and palm trees all come together to equate to the perfect time away.  Just a few months ago, I was lucky enough to spend some time in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.  Spending the week in Mexico of course exposed me to some culture that I was not used to.  I discovered that the Mexican people are very much in-tune with the history of where they came from.  Many of their city names have have been handed down from the times of their independence of Spain, as well as from the days of the ancient civilizations of the Mayans, Aztecs and other ancient Mexican civilizations.

This all brings me around to the current Flag of Mexico.  Just like how the United States Flag has evolved over time with the history of the US, the national Flag of Mexico draws its symbolism from it’s history.  First, I broke down the flag into the parts that it is composed of, the colors (Green, Red and White) and also the emblem in the center (an eagle holding a snake).  Upon investigation, I discovered that the Mexican flag really has gone through a lot of changes over the years, and I could go on for pages breaking it all down.  For now, I’m going to dissect the flag as it is now, and not go into it’s evolution.

Mexico Flag Flying on the Beach

Mexico Flag Flying on the Beach

First the three main colors of the Mexican Flag are clearly Green, Red and White.  These three colors have been derived originally from the Flag that was used by the Army of the Three Guarantees.  The Army of the Three Guarantees was composed of soldiers and cavalry of the Mexican people in 1821.  This was a time of revolution for Mexico, as it sought it’s independence from Spain.  The three colors represented these three Guarantees which were religion, independence, and unity.  The religion it defended was Catholicism.  The Independence it defended was from Spain.  The Unity was against it’s enemies.

The second part of the Mexican flag is composed of an eagle holding a snake.  This symbol dates way back to the period of Aztec rule in the 1300’s through the 1500’s AD.  The legend of the Aztec people states that the early Aztec group would one day settle and create it’s city in a swampy land and this land would be recognized by spotting an eagle, eating a serpent atop a cactus.  Apparently, religious leaders of the early Aztecs came across this sighting in the area that is now known as Mexico City.  Mexico City was built in a swampy area as it was originally an island in a lake.  The Aztecs settled here and quickly became an extremely powerful and feared empire in a short period of time of about 200 years.

When looking at the Mexican Flag, and much of the symbolism throughout Mexico, it can be quickly noted that current Mexican culture is truly defined by over 500 years of history.   The Mexican flag has evolved a great deal over the years, the struggles, revolutions and changes in power are fascinating, and reminiscent of the history of the United States.  If you ever have the chance to visit Mexico I highly recommend visiting some of it’s historical sites. We had a Mexcellent time!

Honor Our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day

May 16, 2010

There’s a lot of hot issues going on in America right now. Whether you’re in a heated debate about Tea Party issues, or you’re angry over the oil spill in Louisiana…lets not forget about the month of May, and what it brings. Memorial Day.

Monday, May 31st is Memorial Day. Each year families remember their loves ones, friends, fathers, sons, daughters, wives and so many more who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. It’s not just about taking a day off from work, or running off to parade. The real meaning behind Memorial Day, is to honor those have fallen in our Military.  Most of all, remember why you’re able to have the freedom to celebrate the holiday, or have the right to go to the parade. However you look at it, your freedom has been protected by the very men and women Memorial Day honors.

Here in North Carolina we’re used to seeing our proud Military members around. With Fort Bragg Army base only an hour away and Camp Lejune Marine Corps base not too much further on our coast, a lot of us here at Carrot-Top Industries have friends and family members who have gone overseas, some of which have not returned. Some of us have been fortunate enough to see the Field of Flags during Glory Days in Fayetteville at the Special Operations Museum which displays 1,500 American flags sponsored to honor brave Military members. The Military is definitely around us, and we’ve always been proud to support them.

Memorial Day has been celebrated all the way back to the late 1800’s and though the traditions have changed here and there, there is still many ways to show your support. Whether it’s flying your American flag, lining your yard with mini American flags, making a Field of Flags for your own business or honoring a gravesite with a grave marker and American flag….just be sure to show your respect. Be sure to fly your American flag at half-staff on Memorial Day and show your respects for the brave men and women of our great Military.

We always try to find ways to show our support, and last year came up with our Virtual Wall of Honor. This exclusive Wall honors our brave heroes who have fallen, are retired and even still active on our Virtual Wall of Honor.  We have even had Military husbands honor their wives and the support they have given when they are overseas. If you’re proud of them…we want to help you honor them. It may still be a small Wall of Honor, but we’re proud of every single person we have been able to honor and will continue to keep doing so and hope you can share your stories with us. Its our way of showing you how proud we are of each and every soldier and say “thank you” for your courage. We’ve even started getting more involved by getting to know our soldiers better through their families by learning about their scholarship funds and beautiful memorials created in their honor. Most recently the stories of SSG Justin Whiting and PFC Andrew Nelson, two young soldiers who lives were ended too soon while serving our country. We’re proud to have great customers who have been proud enough to share their stories with us and become part of our family in a way. It’s made us who we are as a company and we will continue to show our support as we grow over the years.

Remember, There’s no better way to honor, than to remember and be proud. This Memorial Day, let’s all remember why we’re able to celebrate the holiday and honor our fallen heroes……freedom.

Nicki Snyder

Creative Director

Support Our Troops This Armed Forces Day

April 12, 2010

On May 20, 1950 President Harry Truman proclaimed the first Armed Forces Day as a way to consolidate a holiday for every branch of the Military. Since then Armed forces day has been celebrated the 3rd Saturday of May. This year it falls on May 15th and we will be celebrating it’s 60th Anniversary.

Armed Forces Parade

Armed Forces Parade

In the United States we generally celebrate armed forces day by having parades, military open houses, receptions and air shows. This is a day to salute those in the military. In times of war or peace, they spend their days and risk their lives devoted to our freedom and safety. Our Military men and women have trained diligently mentally and physically to prepare for any mission that lay ahead. It is important to recognize what the military has done for our country and for you. There are a number of things you can do to support our troops and give back, especially if you have a family member actively serving.

Ways you can honor our troops on Armed Forces Day:

Memorial in Washington DC

Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC

• Use the day to put together a care package to be sent to troops that are serving.

• Create a Military related fundraiser collecting money for veterans in your area.

• Write letters to serving troops or veterans that may not have family of their own.

• Plan a community wide event with a flag ceremony or parade.

• Create a blog sharing inspirational stories about military experiences.

• Submit a military member to a Wall of Honor to remember those serving or those who lost their life.

• Plan a trip to Washington DC or other military memorials

Fly Your American Flag

Fly Your American Flag

• Visit a veteran.

• Write a poem or patritic song.

• Fly a Military Flag or Support our Troops flag.

Fly your American Flag!

Similar flags to the American Flag

March 17, 2010

After working with flags for so long, you eventually learn to recognize their designs, shapes and colors by heart. One thing I have noticed, is that there are a few International flags whose designs are very similar to that of the American flag.

Flag of Liberia

Liberia Flag: You can definitely notice a similarity between the American flag and the Liberian flag with it’s red and white stripes as well as a blue corner featuring a star in the canton. Unlike the American flag, the Liberia flag only has 11 stripes, which represent those who signed the Liberian Declaration of Independence. The red and white color of the 11 stripes symbolize courage and moral excellence in Liberia while the white star in the canton stands for the freedom ex-slaves were given in history.

Flag of Malaysia

Malaysia Flag: There’s also a similar look to the American flag with the Malaysia flag. This flag features 14 alternating red and white stripes as well as a blue canton in the upper left corner. The stripes of the Malaysia flag symbolize the equality of the 13 member states that make up the country plus the federal government. This flag doesn’t have a standard 5 point star, but instead features a crescent which represents Islam, the country’s official religion, as well as a 14 point star. The 14 points on the star stand for the unity of the 13 states and federal government or Malaysia.

Flag of Togo

Togo Flag: The flag of Togo features the same stripes and star as the Liberia flag, however the horizontal stripes and hoist end are different colors. The Togo flag features 5 horizontal stripes alternating in green and yellow which are derived from the Pan-African colors of Ethiopa, as well as the red upper left corner displaying a 5-point white star. The Togo flag is still fairly new in the flag world, being adopted only 50 years ago on April 27, 1960.

Flag of Uruguay

Uruguay flag: Taking a different approach but still showing a similar design is the national flag of Uruguay. This flag features nine horizontal stripes in blue and white that represent the nine original departments of Uruguay. Instead of displaying a star in the corner of the Uruguay flag, the Sun of May is shown in bright yellow, which is a national symbol of both Uruguay as well as Argentina. The original Uruguay flag actually displayed 17 blue and white stripes but in 1830, a new law required the number of stripes be reduced to nine.

I’m going to do a little more research and see if I can’t find some smaller International territories that also show a similarity to the American flag, as well as taking a look at our own US State flags right here in America!  I’ll be writing another blog on that soon so check back soon!

Nicki Snyder – Creative Director

A proud firefighter, Todd Stanaway

March 16, 2010

Todd Stanaway

As I posted a few weeks ago, our main website has a Virtual Wall of Honor, where we post not only names and information about soldiers and civil service members, but really any information their friends or family members want to say about them. The past few years I’ve read a lot of great stories, not only about Military members, but also our Civil Service members. Our firefighters and Police Officers put their lives on the line every day and deserve some great recognition as well.

Loretta Stanaway was kind enough to share Todd Stanaway’s bio and photo with us on our Virtual Wall of Honor. I hope that you can help recognize his bravery as a firefighter and paramedic and honor our Civil Service Members each day.

Todd R. Stanaway was a firefighter/paramedic for the city of Westland, Michigan.  He had served 13 years, including 9 years on the regional hazardous materials team.  He served as part of the honor guard during the memorial parade in New York City in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

He was 36 when he died of duty-related brain cancer.  He left behind a wife and four-year- old daughter as well as siblings, parents, step-parents, in-laws and other family members and a multitude of friends and colleagues.  He was dearly loved and is greatly missed.

He passed away just two months after receiving his promotion to sergeant.  He is shown at the promotion ceremony with his father.

His name is on the Wall of Honor at the Colorado Springs Firefighters Memorial.  He was a devoted husband and father, loving  son and brother and a friend to all.

A Tribute to SSG Justin Whiting

February 23, 2010

Recently a customer purchased a flagpole and American flag from us, but it wasn’t until I saw the photographs and video footage of this flag did I realize what it was truly standing for.

Our main website has a Virtual Wall of Honor, where we post not only names and information about soldiers, but really any information their friends or family members want to say about them. Over the years I’ve managed to get quite a few stories that touched me deeply and made me realize there’s never too much honor you can give a soldier. Unfortunately not a lot of people have gotten to hear these stories, see the faces of our brave soldiers and learn just who we’ve had fighting for our freedom. Now, I’m hoping to share some of these stories about these brave soldiers with you as often as I can so you can recognize the bravery and honor I’ve had a privilege to hear about.

I want to tell you about Justin Ryan Whiting. Justin’s father was kind enough to share not only his sons story, but also photographs that should be honored and seen by those who appreciate everything our Military does.

From Justins father Randy….

Justin working as a medic

Justin was a US Army Green Beret “Special Forces” Medic.  He served three tours in Iraq.  He got out of the Army for about six months but went back in because he missed it and felt he was needed there. Justin grew up on my farm in Hancock, New York.  It was a dairy farm for many years.  I now raise beef cattle – my barn burned in 1991.  Justin was a true outdoorsman.  He loved to hunt, fish and trap as well as work on the farm. The flag was raised on Memorial Day of 2009.  It sits along the rolling hills of  NYS Route 97 overlooking the farm.  We constantly get comments of what a beautiful and inspiring sight it is.  After Justin’s death there was little that could ease my sorrow.  Since I raised this flag the sight of it always makes me feel better.

Here are some photos and a video Randy sent of the American flag memorial on his farm:

Below is part of the eulogy that Justins Team Captain wrote:

….. Justin was a true patriot, evident by his two tours in Iraq and his decision to re-enter the Army to go back to combat with his buddies. Justin’s character embodied the finest and noblest qualities of our great nation that he held so dear, and died defending. Being able to stand beside people like Justin was what made me proud to wear the Green Beret.

Justin had spent the last three months in Iraq working to help build a democracy and to make this country a better place for those who have never known freedom. His efforts in this noble cause ranged from training Iraqi soldiers, to treating sick civilians and leading Iraqi troops during combat operations. …… Justin was killed instantly when his vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device, which also wounded two other Soldiers in his vehicle. His final moments were spent in laughter and camaraderie, as so many moments with Justin were, and he died surrounded by his friends.

In the time that I knew Justin, he quickly became one of my favorite people. Few Soldiers ever matched Justin’s remarkable work ethic along with his keen intellect and constant desire to excel. With his tremendous personality and charisma, Justin could have succeeded at anything in the world. He chose to be a Soldier; to serve America with dignity and pride, and to apply the simple values of hard work, dedication, and patriotism, to earn the respect and admiration of everyone who knew him. To know Justin was to love him. He was one of the finest young men I have ever known and his prowess as a Soldier and a medic placed him in a class by himself Justin was a tremendously hard worker, a man who met challenges head on, wasn’t afraid to do the right thing no matter what the circumstances, and who loved, above all, being amongst his teammates. He made everybody around him a better person.

The front of the headstone

The back of the headstone

I want to say Thank You  to Justin Whiting, and all of the soldiers who fight and have fought for our freedom.

Honoring our Presidents and their places in history.

February 12, 2010

President’s Day is celebrated the 3rd Monday in February and is a federal holiday in the United States. In fact it is the first federal holiday that was ever put into place in the U.S. Also knows as Washington’s Birthday, this holiday was renamed President’s day to honor Abraham Lincoln as well.

George Washington, The First American President

George Washington, The First American President

President’s Day was first established to honor the birthday of George Washington, our first American President. George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 and lived in the State of Virginia. When he was 20 years old he was appointed general in the Virginia militia during the French and Indian war. He had a reputation of being a great leader and was named Commander-in-Chief during the American Revolutionary War. Washington’s role in the war led to the United States victory against the British. After the war he was elected the first president of the United States. In 1776 Washington instructed Betsy Ross to make the first American flag which became a symbol for the United States and it’s independence. George Washington shaped the US government during his 2 terms in office and is known as the Father of our Country.  The United States would not have been the same with out his influence.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th American President

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th American President

Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809 and served as our 16th president from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln is best known for leading the US through the Civil War and abolishing slavery. Before Lincoln was elected the Southern states had seceded from the Union forming the Confederacy. After Lincoln’s election he formed the emancipation proclamation freeing all slaves. This marked the beginning of the Civil war as the Confederacy was fighting to expand slavery. In 1865 the Union won the civil war, Lincoln then declared all slaves free men and abolished slavery. Afterwards, Lincoln began the reconstruction to reunite the nation. On April 11th Lincoln gave a speech wanting to give voting rights to the newly freed slaves. He was assassinated 4 days later by John Wilkes Booth, a confederate spy. Lincoln is thought to be the greatest of all U.S. Presidents.

Today President’s Day is often a opportunity to recognize our countries military and veterans. Purple Hearts are often given on this day to honor people who sustained injuries while defending our country. Celebrations with patriotic decorations are held in many communities throughout the country. President’s day is celebrated on February 15th this year.

The Evolution of the US Flag

December 8, 2009

13 stars 13 Stars    

An interesting flag factoid: the original US flag is not the Betsy Ross! Although most people believe the 13 circular-star pattern was part of the initial flag, the first official pattern consisted of 13 staggered stars. From 1777 to 1795, the flag was flown to represent the thirteen colonies of the United States including: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire,
Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.

15 stars 15 Stars     

As other states were admitted to the US, the flag’s star pattern changed on July 4th of the following year. The 15 star flag was introduced in 1795 when Kentucky and Vermont were admitted to the Union. The flag lasted until July of 1818.

21 stars 21 Stars      

Flown from 1819 to 1820, the 21-star flag was created after Illinois was added to the Union.

23 stars 23 Stars   

When Alabama and Maine were admitted to the US in 1819 and 1820 respectively, this 23 star flag was created. It was flown from 1820 until 1822.

24 24 Stars  

This flag flown from 1822 to 1836 after Missouri was admitted to the Union.

25 25 Stars  

When Arkansas was added to the US, this 25 star flag was flown from 1836 to 1837.

26 26 Stars  

Flown for 9 years after Michigan was admitted, this flag was created in 1837.

27 27 Stars  

After Florida was admitted in 1845, this flag was flown for only one year.

28 28 Stars  

Texas was admitted to the union in 1845; by July 4th of the next year, this 28 star flag was created. It was flown from 1846-1847.

29 29 Stars  

In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the US. The new 29 star flag was flown from 1847 to 1848.

30 30 Stars  

Flown from 1848 to 1851, this flag was created after Wisconsin joined the union on May 29th.

31 31 Stars 

When California joined the US on September 9, 1850, this 31 star flag was created.

32 Stars  

 Flown from 1848 to 1851, this flag was created after Wisconsin joined the union on May 29th.

33 33 Stars  

On February 14, 1859, Oregon joined the Union. Consequentially, a 33-star US flag was fashioned; it was the official US flag until 1861.

34 34 Stars    

Flown as the official flag from 1861 to 1863, the 45-star US flag was crafted after Kansas’ admission to the union.

35 35 Stars    

When West Virginia was admitted to the union in 1863, the 35-star flag was flown from 1863 until 1865.

36 36 Stars  

 After Nevada joined the union in 1864, the 36-star US flag was created and flown from 1865 to 1867.

37 37 Stars   

 On March 1st of 1867, Nebraska was admitted to the Union; the 37-star US flag was fashioned and flown from 1867 until 1877.

38 38 Stars  

 Flown from 1877 until 1890, the 38-star US flag was created after Colorado joined the US.

43 43 Stars  

 After Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington were admitted to the Union in 1889 (other than Idaho, which was admitted in 1890), the 43-star flag was created.

44 44 Stars  

 Wyoming joined the Union on July 10 of 1890; as a result, the 44-star flag was created and flown from 1891 to 1896.

45 45 Stars  

 Flown from 1896 until 1908, the 45-star US flag was fashioned after Utah joined the Union.

46 46 Stars   

 Oklahoma was admitted to the US in November of 1907; the 46-star flag was flown from 1908 to 1912.

48 48 Stars  

 After Arizona and New Mexico joined the US in 1912, the 48-star US flag was created. It was flown until 1959.

49 49 Stars   

 Alaska was admitted to the US in January of 1959; the 49-star flag was flown until 1960.

50 Current US Flag (50 Stars)     

 Since 1960, when Hawaii was admitted, this familiar pattern has been the official US flag. But it is important to remember that all of the flags ever used are legal flags; this means any one of them can be flown

Besty Ross Betsy Ross    

 Prior to 1912, the exact colors and placement of the stars was not official; therefore there were variations. The Betsy Ross is one such variation. Here, the stars are arranged in a circle within the canton. This flag was in use by 1777.

Bennington Bennington   

 Associated with the Battle of Bennington, this flag was flown during the American Revolution. The ’76 in the middle of the star field commemorates 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. Other than having a circular arrangement of stars, the flag differs from the typical US flag is that the stripes alternate starting with white at the top and bottom (they usually start with red).

Remember the brave and the fallen on Veterans Day

November 2, 2009

Veteran’s Day is coming up around the corner, and one thing that’s always dear to me is our Military service men and women. After living smack dab next to Fort Bragg, one thing I grew a deeper appreciation for is our members of our Military, past and present. And having a grandfather who I honored on our Virtual Wall of Honor (Robert Miller), as well as an uncle, who both served in different conflicts, I grew a deeper appreciation for Veterans. As many people prepare for Veteran’s Day this year with flag flying, parades, etc., I wanted to do a little research on some Veteran’s Memorials because I never fully knew their history other than an image and a name.

Tomb of the Unknowns

Tomb of the Unknowns

Tomb of the Unknowns (Arlington National Cemetery): The Tomb of the Unknowns, which is also frequently referred to as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is a monument created by soldier turned architect named Lorimer Rich in 1921 that is dedicated to the members of the U.S. Armed Forces who died while serving but who’s remains were never identified. The display of the tomb itself holds specific meanings, where the World War I unknown is below the large marble monument, holding the remains of a recipient of the Medal of Honor, as well as many of the highest  service awards available. Next to the WWI Unknown are white marble slabs on the ground, marking the crypts of the Unknown from World War II, Korea, and at one point Vietnam (in 1998 the remains of First Lieutenant Michael Blassie were identified from the Vietnam tomb.)

Since 1937, The Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by what’s known as a Tomb Guard, a special group within the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. In the Summertime the guard is changed every 30 minutes while during the Winter the guard changing takes place every hour. Even when Arlington Cemetery closes for the day, the guard still remains in place but is changed every two hours until the cemetery reopens the next day. If you’re ever in Washington D.C., the changing of the guard is truly an honor to see and I recommend taking the time to pay tribute to the fallen who gave you the right to stand there and witness it.

Vietnam Womens Memorial

Vietnam Womens Memorial

Vietnam Women’s Memorial (Washington D.C.): I love this memorial, but that’s probably because I love to see that Women during the Vietnam War, served proudly and were recognized for their bravery and duties during that period of time. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial honors the women who served during the Vietnam War. Glenna Goodacre, a Texas born sculptor, designed the Memorial and dedicated it in 1993 for the women of the Vietnam War. The Memorial shows 3 women in uniform tending to a wounded soldier in memory of the large numbers of women nurses that served.  There is also a replica of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on display at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in New Mexico, which was the first large scale Vietnam Memorial in the United States and remains the only state park in the United States dedicated solely to Vietnam Veterans.

Marine Corps War Memorial

Marine Corps War Memorial

Marine Corps War Memorial (Arlington, Virginia): This Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial,  represents all members of the United States Marine Corps who have died in conflict since 1775, serving as a reminder of the sacrifice they gave for our Country. Sculptor Felix de Weldon, a Austrian born sculptor who became an American Citizen in 1945, designed the cast bronze memorial based on one of the most iconic photographs of Military history, the Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima. If you’ve never seen the original photograph before, it is truly an amazing shot in time that will bring out the emotion of the soldiers holding the flag.

One fact that I did learn that I thought was neat was that the location and date of every Major Marine Corps engagement up to this very day is inscribed into the base of the Memorial, honoring all of those who have served, not only our past Veterans. In November of 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the memorial in honor of the 179th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps. During his time in office, President John F. Kennedy issued a proclamation that the American Flag would fly on the top of the memorial 24 hours a day, which is very uncommon for traditional U.S. Flag flying regulations.


Statue at the Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial (Washington D.C.): On Flag day in 1992 the groundbreaking took place for one of the most intricate war Memorials I’ve ever seen, the Korean War Veterans Memorial.  Constructed of solid granite, the memorial features more than 2,500 photographic images sandblasted into the wall depicting soldiers, supporters and the land the conflict took place on. Centered within the wall of the memorial are nineteen statues standing tall at over 7′ each  constructed of stainless steel representing troops on patrol from each branch of the Armed Services.  If you’ve never seen this Memorial in person, it is overpowering and truly gives the sense of the conflict and the bravery that took place during it. It is unmistakenly an amazing masterpiece of great honor.

It wasn’t until 1995 that President Bill Clinton and the President of the Republic of Korea dedicated the memorial to the brave men and women who served in the Korean War conflict. But each member of the United Nations that contributed to the Korean War effort is listed on the United Nations Wall to the North of the grand statues, signifying an honor of not only our troops, but those who also made sacrifices.


World War II Memorial

National WWII Memorial (Washington D.C.): Located right in the National Mall in our Nations capital, is 56 pillars and a set of arches surrounding a beautiful plaza adorned by a gleaming fountain in honor of the 16 million soldiers who served in WWII, the supporters of the conflict from home as well as the 400,000+ individuals who lost their lives.  This great monument is known as the National WWII Memorial. The Memorial is in the shape of two semi-circles curving around the fountain and standing between the two sets of pillars is the  Freedom Wall, which features 4,048 gold dimensional stars around a curve, each of which is representing 100 American soldiers who died in the war.

This memorial is fairly new to Washington D.C., opening to the public only a few years ago in 2004. President Bill Clinton signed the law authorizing to have the memorial built, but it was President George W. Bush who dedicated it a few days before Memorial Day. It’s amazing in its size, though it has received some criticism of its architecture and location. I was lucky enough to witness the beauty of this memorial a few years ago, and though it is large in it’s size with its pillars, it is still beautiful in all ways. All together it holds on true meaning, which is to honor those who took part in world War II.

More Veteran Memorials: I could go on forever about about Veteran Memorials. There’s so many of them around this great Nation, but only so much space to talk about them. Of course one of the most recognized memorial is the Vietnam War Memorial. I chose not to fully write about the Vietnam Memorial because there is so much information and visuals available already, that it would have been it’s own blog posting! But I do want to give some links to some other memorials, some that you may have heard of and some that are new to you.

  • United States Navy Memorial – Dedicated in 1987, this memorial is located in Washington D.C. and honors the brave men and women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard as well as the Merchant Marine.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial – This iconic war memorial honors the brave soldiers who fought in one of the most controversial wars of our time, the Vietnam War,  and who are fallen or unaccounted for. It lists the names of over 58,000 soldiers.
  • African American Civil War Memorial – Located in Washington D.C., the African American Civil War Memorial honors over 200,000 soldiers and sailors who fought during the American Civil War cast in bronze.
  • Spirit of the American Doughboy – Sometimes nicknamed Iron Mike, the Doughboy sculpture is widely recognized and honors the veterans of World War I.
  • Liberty Memorial – This grand memorial houses the national World War I Museum in Kansas city, Missouri

This Veteran’s Day, fly your American flags proudly, thank a Veteran if you know one, and remember the great sacrifices that these memorials were built for. And as always, we’d love to honor the brave soldiers of the past and present on our Virtual Wall of Honor. It may not have all the flashy bells and whistles of a grand monument, but it’s our way of saying Thank You to those who deserve it.

Nicki Snyder
Creative Director

Carrot-Top Industries is getting ready to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!

October 29, 2009
Carrot-Top Industries 30th Anniversary Logo, new for 2010.

Carrot-Top Industries 30th Anniversary Logo, new for 2010.

Here at Carrot-Top Industries we are gearing up for 2010. Not only are we excited about the recession coming to an end, we are also ready to Celebrate our 30th Anniversary. There has never been a better time to buy American made products, especially when it comes to US flags! Nobody knows this better than Carrot-Top Industries, we have been supplying American Made flags to businesses and government since 1980. In honor of 30th Anniversary we are unveiling our new for 2010 logo.

Our customer service is considered the best in the industry, so we want your feed back. Tell us how long you’ve been a customer with us, rate our products, give us feed back on our new logo or simply wish us a Happy Anniversary.

We would like to thank our customers, some of you have been with us from the beginning and it’s because of our customers that we have reached this milestone. We are looking forward to meeting your patriotic needs for many years to come and wish you the best in 2010!

Our tag line reads true, now more than ever…
Nobody knows more about flags than we do!


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