Monday, July 22, 2013

Texas flags improperly displayed

My unflagging curiosity compels me to ask:  What's wrong with this picture?!
Car dealership, IH-45 northbound frontage road south of Dickinson.
Let me give you a hint:
This Texas flag appears to be the wrong dimensions, making it not the flag of Texas. 

Inset thumbnail from this Wikipedia site and annotated to illustrate proportionality. 
The actual flag proportions are precisely defined by regulation:
Text copied from this site and then annotated. 
I'm not a flag fanatic, but I do feel that if the flag is going to be displayed, it should be done with a purity of intention and a bare minimum of respect, which arguably ought to include basic accuracy in the construction of it.   I started noticing these pseudo-flags, particularly along Houston's freeways, because many car dealerships and other large businesses have begun to deploy them.  They are massive mega-flags - you simply can't miss them as they billow provocatively over the freeway. 

And it's the distorted dimensions, specifically the extra length, that makes that billow as visually striking as it is.  Which leads me to suspect that the businesses displaying these things are more interested in catching your eye for the purpose of drawing you into their showrooms than they are in respectfully celebrating our collective Texas heritage.  That may not be illegal, but in my books, it's bad taste. 
There are examples of these pseudo-flags all over the internet.  Here's a miscellaneous stock thumbnail also annotated to show an extra third of length.  This ratio is not 2:3 - it's closer to 1:2. 
But here's where this issue goes from a purposeful perplexity to a full-blown vexillological vexation.  In conjunction with this post, I thought I might write an email to the car dealers who fly these things so that I could encourage them to re-examine their motivations, as follows: 

"Dear Mr. Car Dealer:  Rather than exploiting an exaggerated representation of the Texas flag as an attention-getting device for your businesses, why not instead host an authentic patriotic display?  If you must leverage your customers' flag fondness for your own commercial gain, it would arguably be in better taste to obtain an official flag, one flown over our Texas Capitol, and present it to your customers in its proper respectful context for all to enjoy."

You can actually purchase these things if you want to.  The flag shown above has been folded and foreshortened by wind in this photo, but it does appear to have the correct aspect ratio.  Or close to it...

Image from this Wikimedia site
And then in my email I was going to give those car dealers the source for such official flags, but guess what I found while searching for that source?!
Oh, dear God!  "A properly-folded 3'x5' Texas flag"? Apparently the House of Representatives apparently doesn't know the proper flag dimensions either!  2:3 is not equal to 1:2 is not equal to 3:5.  Close only counts in horse shoes, doesn't it?

Screengrabbed from this site as it appeared on July 20, 2013, and annotated. 
So, thumbs down to the flag floggers, and I don't even know what to say about the House.  Perhaps they have confused the Texas flag with area rug standard sizing

Almost eighteen thousand 3' x 5' rugs to choose from, none of which look a danged thing like the flag of the great state of Texas.

Screengrabbed from an Amazon search, and annotated. 
I asked my husband about these things and he said, "Yep - many of the flags out there don't conform to the regulations that define them.  It's been that way for years."  Apparently this is just a quirk of our society, but it seems odd to me that even the governing body that defined the issue in the first place doesn't seem to be strictly conforming to their own specifications (as they state it on their own website, they are close, but it's the principle of the thing).  


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Stop leaving comment spam. You will be deleted.

  4. I agree with you completely. I am not a flag fanatic, either, but if you are going to fly a flag displaying your Texas pride, make sure it is the right one...otherwise, it may as well be one from Florida, or ...Chile. (which actually may be kind of funny-how many would notice?)


I'm forced to moderate comments because the spammers have become too much for me to keep up with. If you have a legitimate comment, I will post it promptly. Sorry for the inconvenience.