Business News Update: Elmer's Flag and Banner, Kites, Too!

Elmer's Flag and Banner

There's an old legend that the ball that sits atop a flagpole flying an American flag contains a razor blade, a match, and a bullet. The razor blade is to cut the stars and stripes from the flag, the match is to burn the remains, and the bullet's to defend your territory from American enemies or shoot yourself. Some claim there's also a symbolic penny inside the ball so America will never become insolvent. It's a great old American-made story but, alas, there's only air inside that ball top.

Actually, the purpose of the finial ball is to protect the pole. It keeps water out of the hollow shaft and makes a less attractive target for lightning. Ever see a gold eagle instead of a ball? Beautiful as they are, they're not always practical because the flag can become ensnared in the wings causing the flag to rip - so many pole owners choose a sphere over an eagle. It is true that when deployed with the military, an eagle should face back home to America. And there's been some debate whether the eagle's wings should point up or down, but the way the wings point is purely decorative and has no deeper meaning.