Braille American Flags: Additional Information
In 2005, the American Braille Flag was created by Randolph Cabral to honor his father, a deceased WWII veteran who lost his sight. Since its creation it has gained both national and congressional recognition under the American Braille Flag Memorial Act, before the 110th U.S. Congress.
The flag is unique in that it permits a person who is non-sighted to fully see (via touch) the raised stars and stripes, but the colors of the flag as well. The flag also features the American Pledge of Allegiance in print and raised Braille dots in grade one Braille. (Grade-one Braille was chosen as it is can be read by both novice and seasoned Braille readers.)
Children who are blind are consistently taught the Braille color code. The color code is made up of an arrangement of three dots, very easily learned. However, for any person who is blind that may not have learned the color code or Braille, a separate "key" was created located at the lower portion of the flag that conveys that the smooth stripes are red, and the raised-grainy stripes are white stripes. Also within the key, a smaller raised graphic depicts the orientation of the fifty white stars on its blue canton (field).
The Braille flag is produced on American thermoform, a light-weight textile plastic material commonly used in the industry to the blind for reproduction of tactile graphics as it retains the raised images and Braille dots better than standard Braille paper.
The American Braille Flag is available in full color or non-color. It measures approximately eight by ten inches applied to a chip board backing, which many people use in picture framing. If framed it is advisable not to cover it with glass. However the flag does not have to be framed to be displayed or appreciated.
Each Braille Flag is individually shrink-sealed, and comes with a full description in print or Braille. Also enclosed is a Braille alphabet card, which can be used by anyone sighted or blind to decipher the words in Braille on the flag.
Aside from filling Braille flag orders, KBTI staff is often called upon to make personal presentations. In 2006by request, staff traveled to Buffalo, New York on behalf of the Blind Veterans Association to present the Braille flag to several recently blinded service men that lost their sight while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then staff have traveled to many parts of the United States. In some locations nationally and internationally known personalities were present as well.
In April of 2008, the American Braille Flag was honored at the White House Commission of Remembrance Memorial Day Celebration, and officially installed at Arlington National Cemetery as a tribute to blind veterans of all wars, and other blind Americans.
The American Braille Flag has been widely presented in private and public schools in our area with providing instruction to blind children learning Braille about the American Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance especially on patriotic holidays, such as Veterans' Day, Flag Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc... Too, it has been used in teaching sighted children about blindness.
Many groups such as the Lions Club, Elks Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Gold Star Wives have requested bulk orders for special occasions.
Additional organizations such as the Blinded Veterans Association, National Federation for Blind Veterans, White House Commission on Remembrance, National Association of Parents of Blind and Low Vision Children, American Printing House for the Blind, AT&T Volunteers, and the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps have requested bulk orders for special occasions.
Many restaurants and other businesses, as well as government agencies want to show special recognition for their blind clients and patrons by displaying the American Braille Flag or presenting them with one. Some groups have purchased them to resell them in fund raising activities.
Aside from the American Braille Flag our Institute has created several additional tactile and Braille flags, in full color or non-color.
The American Braille Flag is also available in stone, bronze, and a heavy poly-resin that resembles bronze.