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September 11th Commemorative Flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2015-10-30 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | commemorative | september 11th |
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On September 11, 2001, a coordinated hijacking attack occurred on U.S. soil. Two planes crashed into the two main towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Another flew into the Pentagon building in Virgina and the fourth plane, United Airline Flight 93, crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Several flags have been created to commemorate this tragic event.
Steve Shumaker , 14 October 2007

Display At Half-Staff On September 11th

For those who were wondering about implementation of the U.S. Congressional mandate to fly flags at half-staff on September 11, President Bush issued the requisite proclamation yesterday, September 4. The flag-relevant passage says:

"I also call upon the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day. Further, I encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on that day ...."
The full text can be read at the White House web site

Joe McMillan, 5 September 2002

Flag Related

Another flag-related bit of aftermath of September 11.

The Washington Post reported that, at a ceremony yesterday honoring Navy medical personnel for heroism and service at the Pentagon crash site, the Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy announced that the signal flags CHARLIE PAPA ONE previously flown in front of all USN medical facilities would be replaced indefinitely by the signal CHARLIE GOLF. CHARLIE PAPA ONE is the ICS signal for "I am standing by to assist you." CHARLIE GOLF means "I am steaming to assist you." The change is meant to show that Navy medical people are no longer just standing by--they're in the midst of the fight.

Joe McMillan, 29 September 2001

9-11 Remembrance Flag

[9-11 Commemorative - Remembrance Flag]

  • The stars symbolize the airplanes that were needlessly sacrificed on 9-11-01. The star outside the pentagon represents the plane diverted by the brave passengers, saving hundreds of lives.
  • The red background of the flag symbolizes the lives lost and bloodshed of our fellow Americans... past, present and future.
  • The pentagon and two rectangles represent three of the most recognized structures ever built on U.S. soil. The Twin Towers may be out of our sight, but never out of our minds.
  • The circle around the pentagon represents the unity that occurred after the tragedy. Instead of fear and helplessness, Americans united, to comfort grieving hearts and restore shattered dreams.
  • The GOD BLESS AMERICA slogan has been adopted to represent the hope and faith of our nation... a reminder to the world that evil may pierce our hearts, but God will permeate our souls.

USS Port Royal battle flag

An article in the 'Hawaii Navy News' newspaper describes the battle flag recently adopted by the USS Port Royal (CG 73), a US Navy cruiser home-ported at Pearl Harbor: (no longer available:

"I wanted to make a clear and strong statement about our mission," said the ship's supply officer, Lt. Cmdr. Tom Dailey, who designed Port Royal's battle flag. The flag presents a field of navy blue with white lettering clearly and simply stating "Sept. 11." It bears no other symbol, word, or crest; only the date now burned into the nation's memory."

The above notwithstanding, a photo accompanying the article shows the lettering on the flag (in Times Roman?) is 'September 11th'. The hoist appears to be on the right in the photo, which suggests the lettering reads correctly on both sides of the flag.
Andrew S Rogers, 18 January 2002

Other US Navy ships have adopted the flags of the NY Police and Fire Departments and flown them while on operations in the Indian Ocean, while others have flown S&S with various connections to the September 11 events, such as the flag hoisted by the Arlington County Fire Department over their field command post near the Pentagon. The S&S tend to be flown briefly during operations then returned to the local community as memorial items.
Joe McMillan, 18 January 2002

Flight 93 Hero Flag

[9-11 Commemorative - Flight 93 Hero Flag] image by Richard Knipel, 25 July 2004

A U.S. flag with the stars of the canton removed and replaced by a large "93" surrounded by a circle of 49 small stars. Written on the top three white stripes are "OUR NATION WILL ETERNALLY HONOR THE HEROES OF FLIGHT 93". The flag was designed by Gene Stilp and revealed at the first anniversary memorial in 2002.
Terence Martin and Michael P. Smuda, 11 September 2006

Freedom Flag

[9-11 Commemorative - Freedom Flag]

Description: Blue full hoist canton contains a (most likely) red dot with a white pentagon with rows of smaller stars (4:3:2:1) in line with the pentagon's sides to create a larger star. Five even red and white stripes alternative covering the rest of the flag. Seen initially in a local paper additional detail from a album. Similar to Virginia's Freedom Flag hence my nickname of "Freedom Flag".
Steve Shumaker, 11 October 2007

Thunder Flag

[9-11 Commemorative - Thunder Flag] image by Richard Knipel, 25 July 2004

An ordained Catholic priest, Father Alphonse Mascherino of Somerset, Pennsylvania, bought and restored an abandoned chapel in Shanksville in November 2001 and opened it as a nondenominational chapel, 'Thunder on the Mountain, UAL Flight 93 Memorial Chapel' as a shrine to the those who lost their lives on Flight 93.

Outside the chapel he flies the Stars and Stripes, the Pennsylvania State Flag, and something called the "Thunder Flag". This is a horizontal tricolor of blue on top, white in the middle, and red on the bottom. On the top blue stripe are four white stars. The official symbolism, taken from the website:

"Stars: (Fire) - Four Planes of 9/11
Blue: (Air) - Heavens of Glory
White: (Water) - purity, truth, justice, valor, courage: attributes of Heroes
Red: (Earth) - American soil, native land, God shed His grace on thee.

Four elements comprising all of creation form the basis of the flag. American soil gives rise to the exalted qualities of humanity, Heroes in spirit capable of evoking the highest esteem and honor from their countrymen and shine as stars forever."

Richard Knipel, 25 July 2004

9-11 National Remembrance Flag

[9-11 Commemorative - National Remembrance Flag] image by Richard Knipel, 25 July 2004

What the flag represents:

The blue on each side of the flag represents the color of the state flags for each state where a plane was downed - New York, Pennsylvania & Virginia.

The black in the center of the flag represents the sorrow we feel for the innocent lives lost from this tragedy: those on the planes, those working in the towers, the Pentagon, and the rescue workers whom lost their lives during the rescue.

The stars represent the 4 planes that crashed and the innocent lives lost on those planes and in the buildings. The blue star represents the Pentagon & American Airlines Flight 77, and for the innocent passengers and the lives lost in the Pentagon. The 2 white stars represent each of the towers at the World Trade Center, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, the innocent passengers on those flights, the lives lost (both those in the buildings and the rescue workers) and those that survived. The red star represents United Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the innocent passengers, and those who sacrificed their lives to protect the loss of other innocent lives. The color of the stars (red, white & blue) is representation of our United States flag. All 4 stars are touching, as well as the 2 white stars to touch the blue in the flag - this represents our 'unity' in the United States.

This flag is based on the POW/MIA flag "that we may never forget". Proceeds from sales will go to the Relief Efforts of the 9/11/01 Tragedy."
Background, History and Photos:

Richard Knipel, 25 July 2004

9-11 NYC Skyline Flag

[9-11 Commemorative - Skyline Flag]

This flag is based on the standard 50 star U.S. flag. In the canton, the top several rows of stars are replaced with white letters with the date September 11, 2001. The bottom several rows of stars are replaced with a white silhouette of the pre-9-11 New York City skyline centering on the towers.

source: various websites
Michael P. Smuda, 13 February 2003

U.S. Variation

[9-11 Commemorative - U.S. w/Black Stripes Flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 7 March 2005

I recall seeing this flag on some site not long after the 9/11 attacks. It had been hoisted vertically, to make the two blacked-out stripes recall the WTC towers. I found it sufficiently interesting at the time to remember it, unfortunately neglecting to save the url.
Eugene Ipavec, 7 March 2005

Always Remember 9-11 - Towers

[9-11 Commemorative - Always Remember - Towers Flag] image by Rick Wyatt, 9 September 2011

With this being the tenth anniversary of 9-11, several new flags have emerged. The Always Remember 9-11 - Towers features the wording "Always Remember 9-11" with the twin towers forming the 11. There is a black silhouette of the NYC skyline below a blue sky with stars of various sizes and red/white stripes trailing into the distance.
Rick Wyatt, 9 September 2011

Never Forget 10th Anniversary Flag

[9-11 Commemorative - Never Forget 10th Anniv. Flag] image by Rick Wyatt, 9 September 2011

For the 10th anniversary of 9-11, the Never Forget 2001-2011 features the wording "We Will Never Forget 2001-2011" over a night skyline of NYC with the two lights where the twin towers once stood. There are also fire and police caps in the sky and very light stars.
Rick Wyatt, 9 September 2011

9-11 In Loving Memory Flag

[9-11 Commemorative - In Loving Memory Flag] image by Peter Orenski, 12 October 2013

Here is Sophie Rault's "IN LOVING MEMORY" flag.
Peter Orenski, 12 October 2013

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