A few months ago, I was asked by one of my Twitter followers if I could do t-shirts using the International Marine Signal Flags to spell out names. Thought about it for a little while and once I got some free time, I started putting some together.
I have now opened up a second Cafepress store called Nautical Nonsense. It can be found under the Store tab at the top of the page. I like the simplicity of the naval flags and how graphically appealing they can be.
As part of the International Code of Signals, these flags are used by vessels to communicate important messages regarding safety of navigation and related matters. Each flag has it’s own name, such as Alfa, Bravo, Charlie or could indicate an entire message with just one flag, such as Y – “I am dragging my anchor.”
This is definitely a work in progress and I have only add a few names to the section. So far there are 7 names from Chris, Jim, Jason, etc. I will also be adding so other designs non-name related like the Naval ABCs design.
I would love to hear from you!
To even compile this list is a mammoth task of thought, deliberation and counter-argument. It is therefore not going to be made that much more convoluted by adding ranking order to the mix, and so…it’s chronological. There are great arguments for many inclusions which have not made this list and so it is with two guidelines that the following list must be read.
Firstly, an equal split has been given to events that were in some way causal effects to the creation of the United States as we know them today and to iconic moments that reflected the achievement of America or an American. Secondly, the inclusion of only one invention on this list is by no means as a result of an ignorance of the numerous world changing contributions the US has made to global innovation, it is just in the author’s opinion, the most worthy of note.
The Pilgrims’ Landing at Plymouth Rock – Even if Columbus finding the “wrong India” was the first “if not for…” moment, this was perhaps the most important.
American Independence – Historians will argue over whether it was the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown or the actual ratification of the declaration of independence that marks the beginning of this first vital stage in US history, whichever it is, they combine together to signify the birth of this nation.
The End of the Civil War – The catalyst that put the “United” in United States of America.
In May 2008 when I discovered that over 17,000 Guernsey evacuees had arrived in England in June 1940, just before the Nazis invaded their island, I was astounded! I knew that the Channel Islands had been occupied but had no idea that almost half the population had come to mainland Britain. I was equally amazed that the majority had been sent to industrial towns in northern England from which local children had been evacuated 9 months earlier.
As I began to interview Guernsey evacuees, most said they had never been asked to share their story before. I now realised that their experiences in England during the Second World War had not been fully captured. I discovered that the evacuees had integrated into their local communities, but also set up around 100 Channel Island societies. In addition, they had contributed to the British war effort by joining the forces, working in ammunition factories and building aircraft. Others had joined the Home Guard, the ATS and the Fire Service. Hundreds of young Guernsey mothers had arrived with their infants, whilst their husbands joined the forces or remained in Guernsey to protect their property. These mothers had arrived in England with practically nothing, and although some adults, as well as children, had unhappy experiences, the majority described the kindness of their English neighbours. Eva Le Page told me “I left Guernsey with my baby, and a bag containing feeding bottles and nappies. I will never forget the kindness of my neighbours when I moved into an empty house in Bolton. When they helped you, they did it with good hearts.” One Lancashire resident, John Fletcher, collected money throughout the war so that the Guernsey children in his area could receive a Christmas gift. They received nothing from their own parents as there was no postal service between Guernsey and England during the war except for the occasional 25 word Red Cross letter.
Christmas; it’s always a special time for everybody, especially children, who are trained at an early age that it is a time that they get to spend with their family, possibly seeing their parents for an extended time. They are also conditioned at an early age (it must be instinct) that it is also a time when they can expect to get a lot of presents from that jolly old fellow, with a long white beard, which just doesn’t seem to be able to lose any weight; Santa Claus.
Unfortunately for Santa, this is not a period of the year when he gets to relax very much. But everyone else gets to take some great Christmas breaks, an opportunity to spend quality time together. It could be just staying at home, playing some games, and enjoying good cheers by the fireplace, casually taking advantage of some available ginger cookies, or even a quick kiss under the mistletoe. Many people also like to do a little travelling, just to change the landscape a little bit. It might involve a trip to visit some relatives, or it might be as simple as going to visit a popular theme park, where the children, as well as the adults, can enjoy some truly unique experiences, even if just for a few days.
Around this time in 1921 a very important, but unknown, situation was occurring in Logan County, West Virginia. Unions were gaining popularity and power, but the major mining corporations, and their owners, were hell bent on keeping unions far away from their workers. Union organizers wanted to spread their influence to Mingo County, which neighbored Logan County, but was more favorable to unions.
In the independent town of Matewan a young sheriff was appointed named Sid Hatfield, who also claimed to be a member of the notorious Hatfield family. With the mining companies worried about unionizing, they began to blacklist, or kick out, any worker who was pro-union, and housed them in makeshift tent colonies. The residents of these colonies were understandably outraged and they numbered somewhere near 3,000 ex-coalminers.
The mining companies brought in Baldwin-Felts agents to restore order to the town and regain their workers, but met some push back. Albert Felts, of Baldwin-Felts, attempted to arrest the town’s sheriff, Hatfield, but he wasn’t having it and the meeting turned into a gunfight where 10 men were killed. This became known as the Matewan Massacre, and was a hugely symbolic and significant event for the miners.