About Flagnotify

OK OK, I guess it's time to "fess up."  There really is no "FlagNotify.com Services Team."  It's just me, from CT sitting in his home office working to give something back to this great nation he has the privilege of growing up in. 

However, there is a "we."  I take design & layout ideas from my beautiful wife (and quite a bit of grammatical error checking) and incorporate them into this website. 

If you like this service, spread the word, if you don't. . by all means, let me know.  If something's not working. . .let me know. . .it can be fixed.

Oh yeah, if you would like to put our half staff/full staff picture that is on our frontpage (yes, it's our picture, so no copyright issues there) on your page, drop me a line, I'd be happy to send you some instructions.

How this project came to be:

You know the old saying. . ."mother is the . . ."  no that's not it. . ."Necessity is the mother of invention?  This is true in software too! 

You see, a few years ago, my wife (see above) bought me a flagpole (and the flag too) for fathers day, she knew it was something I wanted, so I eagerly put it in the ground right in front of our house. . .did a little research, found that I needed to have lights on it. . . Lit the flag up with some spotlights and voila! we're real Americans now (though we are both born and bred, right here in the good 'ole US of A).

So as all new shiny things eventually lose a bit of their luster, over time, I began to get lax on checking the CT.gov website daily to see where the flag should be. 

One day, as I was driving in to work, I hear on the radio that an American Soldier from Connecticut was killed in Afghanistan, and Governor Rell has instructed all flags to be lowered to half staff until the body was interred.  At that point, I realized I had not checked for the status for over 6 months.  Even worse, my flag was at Full staff on Memorial Day.  I needed to fix this.

So on my summer vacation, I sat down by the pool with my netbook, and wrote a little app (yes, I'm a geek, can't help it) that would scan the CT website for markers defining half staff.  When the markers were found, it would email me and my wife (and send a text message to us too -- that feature will be coming in future months).  I never missed another half staff.  This is valuble to me since Presidential mandates can lower the flag. . . but more often is a gubernatorial mandate.

I told my pastor about this app, now understand something about my pastor, an Army Veteran and ex Police Detective for NYC, he takes his flag very seriously.  He jumped on the chance for me to add him to my list.  And so it began. . I thought, anyone who has a flagpole, wants this.  So I opened it up, wrote a little more code, rented a server to host it on, and off we go.

Eventually I rewrote the code to handle more than just Connecticut, found the online status sites for MA and NJ, and added them in. . . NY was a bit trickier, since they don't actually have a flag status site.  I wrote the NY governor's office, who in turn got me in touch with the Office of Veterans Affairs.  They added me to their notification list, a little more software coding so I can maintain a schedule of our own, and that brings us to what we have today.

Thanks for reading and God bless America