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For at least the past 30 years, the President of the United States has worn an American flag pin in the lapel of his suit jacket. More recently, many governors have begun wearing a dual flag pin with the American fag on one side and their state flag on the other. It has become expected of politicians.
But other, totally non-political uses of flag pins have been appearing in the past few vacation seasons.
As the tourism and travel season gets into full swing, tour organizers and guides are now ordering a pin with the native country of group members on half of the pin and, on the other, a flag of a nation they’re visiting. As the group crosses a border and enters a new country, a new set of flag pins get handed out to everyone on the tour.
It says to everyone who sees them as they visit museums and do sightseeing, “We’re proud of where we come from but are happy to meet our new friends in your country, too!”
While pin collecting and trading is a time-honored tradition, typically the collectors and traders have focused on sports teams and games or unique events. But as the popularity of pins keeps growing, a whole army of flag pin collectors and traders has been created.
The smaller and lesser-known the nation, the more highly valued a pin with its flag on it seems to be. It adds an element of uniqueness to an individual’s collection. After all, how many people have seen the flag of Europe’s Lichtenstein or Sao Tome and Principe which is an island nation in Africa?
Yet I have heard of collectors who attracted many people around his display box when they discovered she had a collection of pins that included many of the world’s smallest countries.
In fact, when my wife and I were in Africa in 2019, people who had a custom flag pin of their country were eager and happy to trade for our American flag pins! In the process, we met many people and learned more about their country.
For charities, the custom flag pin can be given to anyone who makes a contribution or shows up at an event the organization sponsors. For example, a group that held a “fun walk and run” event to raise money made sure that both all of the entrants and spectators received a special pin marking the occasion that had the organization’s flag on it.
So, whether it is to display one’s sense of patriotism or to use as the basis for a pin design, a custom flag lapel pin will do the trick.