How American Flag Pins Bring Us Together

14 years. And yet, the time before September 11th, and the time after seem both very immediate and also eternal, as if it’s always been this way. I still vividly remember listening to the radio while getting ready for school and hearing the confused, panicked voices of the DJs, and thinking that it was surely some very weird sort of joke, like Orson Wells’ “War of the Worlds” back in the 1940’s. But no, it was no joke, though the reality of it took a long time to sink in.

14 years and everyone I talk to about September 11th still has the same strong urge I have to discuss what they were doing when they first heard, where they were, their initial reactions. As if we still need to come to terms with the shocking reality of how much we all changed that day, in that one moment. Before, and forever after.

And yet, despite the bone deep sadness and fear that that day instilled in us, it also roused American Flag pinsa sense of pride in our country that I’m not sure all of us consciously recognized beforehand. My generation especially, a child of baby boomers who had never known personally an invasive war, tended to take our country a bit for granted. But when that first plane hit the Trade Towers… well, to say it was a wake up call is an understatement.

So while September 11th is a day of remembered sadness, it’s also a day of revived pride. I remember suddenly seeing American flag pins everywhere, and thinking thereafter that a suit looked naked without one. Or watching the members of the house and senate sing “God Bless America”, Republicans and Democrats both joining voices, hands, and truly, we were not divided for a moment: we were simply, fiercely, American.

14 years. And now, though still with sadness and levity, this day has become a day of service, a day to “pay it forward”. It doesn’t have to be something big… at least not to you. Because a kind action towards someone else, no matter how big or small, can mean the world towards that person. And kindness, service, pride and cooperation… no act of violence can take away the fact that Americans are all of those things and more.

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The Importance of Medical ID Bracelets

While a medical ID bracelet, pin or necklace may not be the hottest accessory, it can help save a person’s life. If you’re someone who has a medical condition that cannot be easily recognized, wearing a medical ID tag is very essential.
A medical ID tag alerts emergency responders or law enforcement in the event of an emergency in which you are unable to communicate. The ID tag will inform others of the condition in the event that you are unconscious or unable to speak due to shock, loss of speech or hysteria.

In the event of an emergency, providing information about your health condition is vital. Medical Alert BraceletsMedical bracelets or pins speak for you when you are unable to speak for yourself. They provide medical personnel with a quick diagnosis so that they can react to the situation properly and as quickly as possible. In severe scenarios, a medical ID tag can mean the difference between life and death.

Who Should Wear a Medical Alert Tag?

Any person who has a medical condition that cannot be easily recognized should wear a medical ID tag. The following conditions warrant a medical ID tag:

• Diabetes
• Severe Allergies to Food or Medications
• Asthma
• Epilepsy
• Alzheimer’s
• Heart Conditions
• Hypertension
• Hypothyroidism
Young children or persons who are unable to articulate their medical condition should also wear a medical ID tag.

Medic Alert Awareness Month

To raise awareness of the importance of wearing medical ID tags, Medic Alert Awareness Month is celebrated every August. Medic Alert Awareness Month also aims to raise awareness for the Medic Alert Foundation and the life-saving benefits of its medical ID jewelry.

Founded in 1956, the Medic Alert Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to ensure people are given the proper care in the event of an emergency. The organization provides Medic Alert identification bracelets and necklaces and maintains a database of their members’ health information, which can be made available to medical personnel during an emergency. With Medic Alert, your medical information and health history can be conveniently retrieved from the details engraved on your Medic Alert jewelry. First responders can contact Medic Alert’s live 24/7 emergency response service to obtain your information. The medical ID tags minimize the risk of medical errors and help ensure you are receiving the best care in an emergency.

What should be Engraved on a Medical ID Tag?

Your medical ID tag will alert medical authorities who respond to your emergency. While you definitely want to include your health condition, what you engrave on the bracelet or pin is up to you. You can also choose to include your name or the name and phone number of the person you wish to call during an emergency. If there is a medication or something you must or must not take to alleviate the issue, you may want to include that as well.

If you have Medic Alert  bracelets, you do not need to include all of your valuable health information on the ID tag because first responders will have access to all of your medical data. If you wish to use a generic medical ID, it’s best to include as much information as you can to ensure you receive the highest quality care.

If you or a loved one has a medical condition that cannot be easily recognized, a medical ID tag will ensure you receive the assistance and care you need when you need it most.

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August is National Immunization Month

As we go through the month of August I hear more commercials about school supplies, new school clothes, and that inevitable first day of school. It’s still warm outside, the sky still stays light until after dinnertime, but school is right around the corner. And this also means that it’s time to consider getting your children immunized against things like the flu. In fact, August is National Immunization Month, promoting early action for school age children and also for all others when it comes to flu shots, in preparation of colder weather and increasing viruses at work and school.medical lapel pins

There are lots of places to get your immunization, meaning you don’t need to go through the hassle of making an appointment with your doctor six weeks out. Many grocery stores and pharmacies will offer walk-in immunizations this time of year, and many schools will even have doctors and nurses available at the beginning of the year to provide proper immunization.

Keep an eye out for signs and medical personnel wearing medical lanyards or medical lapel pins indicating they’re able to provide immunizations and make a point to get yourself immunized today to ensure fewer illnesses this winter. Also: be sure to thank medical professionals for helping you out: I can’t imagine it’s a lot of fun sticking needles into people’s arms all day. They’re the every day heroes that we wouldn’t be able to do without!

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Solid Metal Memories

Summer means a lot of things. It’s summer vacation for kids. It’s swimming and outdoor sports season. Wedding season. And one of my favorites: it’s fest season! Festival season combines many of my favorite things: great live music, creative projects and people, great street food, and increasingly, unique and really amazing custom pins! Whether it’s Burning Man or Disney World, pins are making a huge impact on the festival season.

Also, with custom lapel pins means I run across a lot of pieces we’ve created for things Custom pinslike fests over the years, and I’ve saved some of the most noteworthy on my pin wall. Neon mosaic owls for Electric Forest; huge, beautiful rhinestone playas for Burning Man; anarchy symbols and religious declarations for conventions, realistic airplanes for EAA AirVenture, and a rainbow skull and crossbones for QueerCon. Their creativity, size and playfulness make them some of my favorite pieces.

And at Disneyland pin collecting is a serious hobby, with thousands to choose from everywhere you go. Furthermore, long-time collectors walking around with lanyards that weigh literally pounds, festooned with characters, anniversary pins, and event custom pinscommemoration. Each lanyard is probably worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, and I guarantee you most of the people wearing them would trade them in for the money back. In a way, lapel pins from fests or places like Disney are solid metal memories that can bring their owners back every time they look at them.

So, do you collect custom pins? Or some other unique collection that you wouldn’t trade for any amount? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know and we may feature your collection in an upcoming blog!

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Fly Girl

Happy birthday to Amelia Earhart! It was on this day back in 1897 that she was born in a small town in Kansas.  At ten she saw her first airplane exhibition in Iowa at a state fair. And while it took another 11 years before she finally got behind the controls of an airplane herself, she immediately devoted herself to it, and become the 16th woman in the world to get a pilot’s license.

And while she was not the first woman to get her pilot’s license, she quickly became the world’s most famous female pilot, earning the nickname “Lady Lindy” for her aviation prowess comparable to the famous pilot, Charles Lindbergh. Throughout her short career, she set records and inspired women everywhere to take toAir Force the skies, and not let social norms dictate their choices when it came to a career.

Her legacy lived on after her disappearance as women swarmed to join the military efforts of World War II, though the Air Force itself was not a formal body until after the War was over. By 1948, women had their own air force affiliation, the Women of the Air Force, or WAF. This organization remained intact until 1976 when women were admitted into the USAF on equal standing to their male counterparts.

118 years after the birth of Ms. Earhart, we as women, and a country, have come far. Women are in every branch of the military, and in the skies as commercial pilots and in the Air Force. And if there’s anything to be taken away from the amazing life of Amelia Earhart, it’s to follow your dreams! Whether that means going thousands of feet into the air, or staying exactly where you are. Dream big, and don’t give up. Happy Birthday, Amelia!

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Oh, Canada!

Happy Canada Day! Our neighbors to the north are celebrating their “birthday” just three days before America has its big patriotic blow-out this weekend. To be more specific, Canada Day represents the day that the three individual colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the United Province of Canada merged into a singular body under the British North American Act of 1867. However, it wasn’t until 1982 that Canada Day became an official Canadian holiday.

The subsequent 33 years have seen celebrations that are akin to what we see around the flag lapel pinsUS on the 4th of July, with all number of patriotic parades, ceremonies, declarations of citizenship, fireworks, concerts and other festivities. However, each locality has its own unique traditions associated with the day.

One thing you’re bound to see a ton of on this day, no matter where in Canada you find yourself, is the bright red maple leaf emblazoned on the white background of their beloved Canadian flag. While relatively new-it was created in 1964-it took hold quickly amongst the Canadian people. Today it is instantly recognizable around the world when seen flown, or on t-shirts, flag lapel pins or even painted on the faces of Canadian sports fans.

And so, with patriotism on my mind as Independence Day looms in the US, I want to wish all of Canada, a hearty and heart-felt HAPPY CANADA DAY!

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“Give me your tired, your poor…”

I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea that the Statue of Liberty had ever looked any different than she does today, standing on Bedloe’s Island in the New York harbor. I thought she had always been that uniquely blue green color. But no! When she first arrived in the US, as a gift from France to celebrate 100 years of American independence and also friendship with France, she came gleaming a bright copper, and in 214 different containers no less!

And after an arduous fundraising and construction period, she was complete, and dedicated on October 28, 1886, by president Grover Cleveland. Since that day, Lady patriotic lapel pinsLiberty has seen over 12 million immigrants safely onto Ellis Island, has stood tall during two world wars and almost countless other conflicts, and has survived weather, civil unrest, and of course, the tragedy that hit New York on September 11th, 2001. Throughout it all, she represents the view of America as seen by those entering for the first time, and those who have always known her as their own: a symbol of freedom, welcome, opportunity and hope.

Today, Lady Liberty, as she’s informally known, is seen on everything from t-shirts, shrunken down statuettes, postcards, patriotic lapel pins and lanyards, and even on a fair number of American bodies in the form of tattoos! She is just as much a symbol of freedom and hope as she has ever been, and for a lady going on 129, I think she’s never looked better.

Have you ever visited the Statue of Liberty? If so we’d love to hear your story of what it was like, and how you felt! Share your pictures and experiences and we may feature you in an upcoming blog post!

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Old Glory indeed!

Flag Day is upon us again! Politicians and patriots alike live for days like this, when they can pull out their American Flag lapel pins and wear them with extra pride. But how many of you out there know what the heck Flag Day is? Other than the day to stake your American Flag lawn ornaments out, to be left until after Labor Day. It’s actually the US Flag’s birthday, and for being 238 years old this year, I’d say it’s looking really good.

Back in 1777, our brand new country, all 13 colonies of it, was bursting out with pride after American flag lapel pinswinning, tenuously, its independence from the British Crown. And the first thing every country (or organization, club, or punk rock band) needs is a logo to unite everyone. This was decided upon on the 14th of June 1777 after 10 rough drafts, and lots of conjecture! But after returning to the drawing board ten times, they were confident they had it right on try number 11. And from then on, our flag has grown in stars but kept its 13 stripes, paying homage to our original colonies and our expanding country.

It really makes me wonder what our flag will look like in another 100 years.  But this year,  sharing your 50 star flag pride. American Flag lapel pins, lawn ornaments, shirts, hats, kerchiefs for Spot as well as actual flags are all welcome, and part of this amazing, ever-evolving country we call home. Happy Flag Day!

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Happy Decoration Day!… Er, Memorial Day!

Did you know? Memorial Day started out as “Decoration Day” during the aftermath of the American Civil War, as a way to ensure that the thousands of Americans who died in shockingly short order, would not be forgotten. The origin of this practice is hard to pin down, but it was originally celebrated in northern states on May 30th, which specifically did not coincide with any battle, so that all soldiers could be honored equally. For reasons of their own, the South celebrated their own Decoration Day on a date different from the North.

By WWI, Decoration Day had become Memorial Day, and was celebrated all over the country on the last Monday in May. It was also at this time that Memorial Day grew to encompass the fallen soldiers of all wars, not just the Civil War. In a fit of passion, an army doctor wrote “Flanders Fields” after presiding over the funeral of a fallenpoppy lapel pins soldier.  The vivid imagery of the poppy flower as nature’s memorial to the dead is now a worldwide emblem of Memorial Day,  adopted for Veteran’s Day as well.

Today, Memorial Day honors of fallen soldiers certainly, but also celebrates America’s freedom. It is also a day to donate to veterans’ groups through the sale of the now iconic poppy flowers. The poppy is now seen everywhere on Memorial day, emblazoned on everything from clothing to bright red poppy lapel pins. Many organizations make special edition poppy versions of their products, with proceeds going towards veterans affairs organizations.

I’m personally a big fan of Memorial Day, not only because it’s important to remember the men and women who gave literally everything they had to preserve the freedoms we enjoy every day, but also because it falls right next to, and sometimes on, my birthday. So poppies for me are both memorial and celebratory (and the vacation day isn’t a bad birthday gift!). If you can’t find someone selling poppies around this Memorial Day, be sure to check us out: our poppy lapel pins are a great tribute.

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Armed Forces Day is Here!

I think of Armed Forces day as the pre-game holiday to Memorial Day, which falls on May 25th this year. Think about it: you get to celebrate every branch of the service with varying levels of activity, from parades to discounts and freebies at local businesses, and tokens of appreciation like flags and military lapel pins. The only thing it doesn’t have is a day off from work. What it DOES have is that it is celebrated all over the world, though not on the same day in each country. From Argentina to Venezuela, military lapel pinsArmed Forces day is a recognized day of thanks to service men and women.

In Bulgaria it is also known as a Day of Bravery, and is celebrated on May 6th. In France it’s held on July 14 and boasts the largest and oldest military parade in all of Europe! And right here in the USA it has been celebrated during Armed Services week since the 1950’s. It was a way to support, promote, and celebrate all members of the American military, past, present and future.

Because this holiday is celebrated in big and little ways all over, there’s no wrong way to do it. Whether you put flags out on your lawn, donate to a military charity, wear military lapel pins or simply thank the vets and service men and women in your life, you’re doing it right! And we at PinMart want to thank all the past and present service men and women for their sacrifices. We’re the land of the free because you’re so brave!

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