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What is Bunting?
Bunting was originally a lightweight worsted (the fibers lie parallel to each other) wool fabric used for making flags of the Royal Navy. The origin of the word is uncertain. Today, "bunting" is a term for any festive decorations made of fabric, plastic, paper, or even cardboard in imitation of fabric. Typical forms of bunting are strings of colorful triangular flags, also known as Pennants, and lengths of fabric in the colors of national flags gathered and draped into swags or pleated into fan shapes. The term bunting is also used for a collection of flags, and particularly those of a ship. American flag bunting is the most common form of bunting you will see today. Americans love to decorate their houses with patriotic bunting.
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Prior to the Civil War, American flag makers imported primarily English bunting for the manufacture of the nation’s flags. In March 1865, General Benjamin F. Butler incorporated the United States Bunting Company and began producing flag bunting. Butler went on to exploit his ties with members of Congress and military officials to garner government contracts with his company. In 1866 his agent, De Witt C. Farrington, presented the Senate with a large American flag (21 X 12 feet), produced by the bunting company, to fly over the U.S. Capitol. It was reportedly the first flag of American-manufactured bunting to be hoisted over the capitol building. While Butler's company did not survive to present times, his desire to make American flag bunting made in America has given rise to companies such as FlagandBanner.com to market Made in USA American flag bunting and flags, thus keeping jobs in the United States.
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