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The keffiyeh or kufiya (Arabic: كوفية‎ kūfiyyah, meaning "from the city of Kufa" (الكوفة); plural كوفيات kūfiyyāt), also known as a ghutrah (غُترَة), shemagh (شماغ šmāġ), ḥaṭṭah (حَطّة), mashadah (مَشَدة), chafiye (Persian: چَفیِه‎, dastmal yazdi (Persian: دستمال یزدی‎) or cemedanî (Kurdish: جه مه داني‎), is a traditional Middle Eastern headdress fashioned from a square scarf, usually made of cotton. It is typically worn by Arab people, as well as by some Mizrahi Jews and Iranic nomads (especially Kurdish people). It is commonly found in arid regions as it provides protection from sunburn, dust and sand. Its distinctive standard woven checkerboard...

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Several times a week we have people visiting our Madison, Wisconsin location asking if we know of any traditional Army / Navy Surplus stores in the area.  Older Madison residents often recall the days of one located on State Street near the Wisconsin State Capital.  Others have memories of one in Janesville and one in Baraboo but nationwide, the Army / Surplus store has become a thing of the past. Brett and Kate McKay have an excellent article on the subject including the history of the subject on their website the Art of Manliness. You’ve probably been to an army...

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Just recently some people have realized that on the uniforms of our US military, the US flag is worn backwards.  Have you ever wondered why the flag patches are reversed?  Well actually it's only when the flag is worn on the right shoulder the result of a tradition that started long before the Civil War where soldiers shared the belief that the blue field of stars should always be in the highest position of respect on their uniforms. The American flag should always be displayed to the right of other organizational flags.  You'll find this tradition when the flags are...

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A few interested facts to share on the 4th of July. Most flags sold in the United States are made in China, nearly $4,000,000.00 worth. Independence Day wasn't adopted until 1870 and it wasn't until 1938 that Congress made it a paid federal holiday. Only two signers of the Declaration of Independence would later serve as Presidents--John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. This was also the day that the Declaration of Independence was first read in public after people were summoned by the ringing of the Liberty Bell....

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Customers might start noticing an additional warning tag on some of their gear as a result of the controversial California law known as the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 or “Proposition 65".  Proposition 65 is a law that applies to companies that operate or sell products to California residents.  It requires a warning posted on the product that the item may contain any of more than 800 elements that the California Air Resources Board considers harmful. Even if the products does not necessarily cause harm--the label is required.  For example the plastic buckles on a backpack might...

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