Honoring Special Days
By Penelope Folsom

     If you’re searching for a unique birthday, holiday or special-day gift, how about a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC? Since 1937, Congress has been selling these special flags to Americans who order them. Acquiring one is not difficult and it costs little.
     We learned about this when we wanted to commemorate a friend’s retirement from the US Marine Corps. OK, I understand, a Marine is never really retired – once a Marine always a Marine. But when he’d finished his 20 years of active service we searched for something unique and were able to purchase the flag that flew over the Capitol on his special day. Flags are available in 3X5 or 8X12 sizes and in either cotton or nylon fabrics. Costs run from $13 to $23 plus shipping. The quality is exceptional, with embroidered stars and red and white stripes carefully stitched together.
Here’s how you too can honor your veteran or anyone else on their significant date.
     The most important part is to plan ahead. Order your flag at least four weeks prior to the special date. Forms are provided online from your senator’s office. In Maryland that would be either Sen. Benjamin Cardin at cardin.senate.gov/services/flag.cfm or Sen. Barbara Mikulski at mikulski.senate.gov/constituentservices/requestaflag.cfm
     Allow four weeks after the specified date for delivery. Included will be a document that states the flag flew on your choice of date and if you’d like, you can ask that it also mention the occasion that you’re celebrating.
    If you need more information, log on to www.capitolflags.gov/

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