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    [–] Symmetric British Flag jschooltiger 1 points ago in vexillology

    I wrote about this on AskHistorians awhile back. It's a heraldic requirement. Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/5e644z/why_does_the_cross_that_represents_ireland_on_the/

    To quote from that:

    The reason is fairly technical, but has to do with commonly accepted rules of heraldry, specifically what's called the rule of tincture. In European heraldry, either two metals or two colors aren't allowed to be placed directly atop or against one another; they're separated by a white band, called a "fimbriation," to allow the colors to stand out more from one another. (Note that you can find loads of exceptions to this rule, but that it's the starting point for this answer.) You can see this fimbriation on the union flag used 1707-1801 -- it's the white band around the St. George's cross.

    The Irish cross (the red cross of St. Patrick) is also countercharged with the white cross of St. Andrew from the Scottish flag -- that is, each of them is given half of the space when they're overlaid with one another, so that the white cross and red cross follow one another around the flag clockwise.

    The white fimbriation makes the St. Andrew's cross appear wider, and it does also mean that there's a "right side up" to the flag. Apologies for the Wiki link, but you can see here from this diagram how the two crosses follow one another in position clockwise.

    [–] Was the whole "make out point/bluff" a real thing in 1950ish America, or something made up for slasher films? jschooltiger 18 points ago in AskHistorians

    Yes, and unfortunately, we do not allow personal anecdotes. While they're sometimes quite interesting, they're unverifiable, impossible to cross-reference, and not of much use without more context. This discussion thread explains the reasoning behind this rule. Thanks for asking!

    [–] How valuable/important has the preservation of statues been to the work of professional historians? jschooltiger 2 points ago in AskHistorians

    Hi there! Lucky for you, we have an entire Monday Methods post up today that deals with that exact question! We're directing questioners to post there for now, as we have several subject matter experts lined up to talk about it. You can find the post here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/6v1yj5/monday_methods_collective_memory_or_lets_talk/

    and I've gone ahead and removed this post. Thanks!

    [–] Is this a uniform from WWI, WWII or something else? jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Hello there! As your question is related to looking for identification/information regarding military personnel, our Guide on Military Identification may be of use to you. It provides a number of different resources, including how to request service records from a number of national agencies around the world, as well as graphical aids to assist in deciphering rank, unit, and other forms of badges or insignia. While the users here may still be able to lend you more assistance, hopefully this will provide a good place to start!

    [–] How much prize money could a crewman expect to earn during the Napoleonic Wars? If they wanted to save/invest it, how would they go about it? Would it be enough to buy their children a commission? jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Hey CptBuck, I saw this question when you posted it but haven't had a chance to tackle it. There's not a good overall study of prize money on the individual sailor's level that I know of, partly because it's super difficult to track individual sailors from ship to ship. They enlisted for a cruise, which is a vague term that could range from a few months to a few years, and when they were paid off at the end of the cruise they disappeared from ship's books. (That's another way to say that there was no such thing as e.g. a roster of enlisted men in the Navy or a fixed term of service -- that's a product of the mid- to late 19th century.) Most prize money accrued to captains and admirals -- before 1808, 1/8th of the value of a prize went to the admiral under whose orders the captain was sailing, 1/4 to the captain, 1/8 for the lieutenants, surgeon, master and Marine captain, 1/8 for the other warrant officers, and 1/4 to the crew. As you can see, that tends to distribute prize money to the top of the list, although the results were not inconsiderable to the common sailors either.

    The captains most likely to find themselves awash in prize money were frigate captains who primarily cruised against merchant ships. To use a (non-representative) example, during the American war Captain J.S. Yorke took something like 56 prizes, of which we have accounts of 30, earning him at least £30,000 in prize money (his service pay was £146 per year). Four frigates that took the Spanish ships Thetis and Santa Brigida in 1799 shared in £652,000 of prize money; each ordinary seaman took home £182 4s 9 3/4d, which was the equivalent of ten years' pay, but the admiral cleared £81,000. Lord Howe caused a bit of a scandal when he retired to Bath while still in command of the Channel Fleet and continuing to receive prize money; but to be fair to him, he was elderly and his nerves broke after his squadron barely survived a violent southeasterly gale while anchored in Torbay, which is exposed from that quarter.

    Now, in terms of investments, we know that sailors would sometimes use prize money or proceeds to start pubs -- this seems to have been a common dream of a seaman. We also have accounts of men simply using up their prize money on a binge on shore. There were usual investments available -- some captains urged their men to invest in Navy bonds or something with a fixed rate of return, such as Pitt's "Sinking Funds."

    Now, as to buying a commission -- that would be impossible to do, simply because the Navy (unlike the Army) did not sell commissions; they had to be earned through sea-time and an examination. The idea of a gentleman having to prove his professional competency through an examination was socially revolutionary when it was required in 1677, and most likely came from the king, Charles II; it's doubtful Pepys (who gave himself credit for the idea) had anything like enough social standing to make a change of that magnitude. I wrote more about promotion in a few older threads:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/2b42u0/during_the_napoleonic_wars_how_young_were_naval/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/29f3s7/how_does_the_royal_navys_organisation_command/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/3oijlw/what_was_the_relation_between_sailors_and_marines/

    [–] WHAT IF MOHAMED LOST TO THE ARAB PAGANS jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Sorry, but your submission has been removed because we don't allow hypothetical questions. If possible, please feel free to rephrase the question so that it does not call for such speculation, and resubmit. Otherwise, this sort of thing is better suited for /r/HistoryWhatIf. You can find a more in-depth discussion of this rule here.

    [–] Did people of the classical era know that the sun does not rise/set at the same time around the (known) world? jschooltiger 3 points ago in AskHistorians

    Yes, they did. See this older answer of mine:

    Hipparchus of Nicaea (c. ~190-120 BCE) seems to have been the first person to propose using a grid system to find the position of cities (and other places) on a globe, which implies an understanding of longitude. He built on earlier work by Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c. 276-194 BCE), who had mapped the known Earth, including finding its circumference. Hipparchus' method of finding the longitude of places was to use the differences in timing of lunar eclipses at different points on the globe to calculate the difference between local time of those points; the drawback is that there was no accurate-enough method of timekeeping to lead to useful calculations. Edit to clarify: The difference in local time between observed beginning and end of the eclipses would serve, essentially, as a way to understand the longitude between places.

    The knowledge that local time would be different at different points on the globe is what led eventually to what's called "the discovery of the longitude" in around 1760 or so, when two methods of reliably finding longitude using time were discovered and implemented.

    [–] What is the history of the discovery that solar time varied based on your longitude? jschooltiger 3 points ago in AskHistorians

    I've actually answered this question before. With the idea that the earth is spherical(ish)1, which was known in antiquity, comes the idea that the sun illuminates the globe at different times. To shamelessly steal from this older answer.

    Hipparchus of Nicaea (c. ~190-120 BCE) seems to have been the first person to propose using a grid system to find the position of cities (and other places) on a globe, which implies an understanding of longitude. He built on earlier work by Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c. 276-194 BCE), who had mapped the known Earth, including finding its circumference. Hipparchus' method of finding the longitude of places was to use the differences in timing of lunar eclipses at different points on the globe to calculate the difference between local time of those points; the drawback is that there was no accurate-enough method of timekeeping to lead to useful calculations. Edit to clarify: The difference in local time between observed beginning and end of the eclipses would serve, essentially, as a way to understand the longitude between places.

    The knowledge that local time would be different at different points on the globe is what led eventually to what's called "the discovery of the longitude" in around 1760 or so, when two methods of reliably finding longitude using time were discovered and implemented.

    1: The earth isn't a perfect sphere, some Reddit pedants have taken me to task over this before.

    [–] How was the food and music of colonial powers affected by their conquering of other places? jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Sorry, we don't allow "example seeking" questions. It's not that your question was bad; it's that these kinds of questions tend to produce threads that are collections of disjointed, partial, inadequate responses. If you have a question about a specific historical event, period, or person, feel free to rewrite your question and submit it again. If you don't want to rewrite it, you might try submitting it to /r/history, /r/askhistory, or /r/tellmeafact.

    For further explanation of the rule, feel free to consult this META thread.

    [–] When perusing Wikipedia's list of Confederate monuments, I notice that an overwhelming number were constructed in the period of 1900-1920. Why is this? jschooltiger 100 points ago in AskHistorians

    I think you have your centuries wrong -- the Native American Party or American party, aka the Know Nothings, was active 1844-1860. It's pretty straightforward to argue, as u/the_alaskan does, that the height of the Lost Cause movement when Confederate soldiers were aging and beginning to die in large numbers, was the height of monument building, followed by a second surge during the civil rights movement. Certainly the data they cite from the SPLC back that up.

    [–] Would it be fair to call early Mormonism as a terrorist organization? jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    This submission has been removed because it is soapboxing, promoting a political agenda, or moralizing. We don't allow content that does these things because they are detrimental to unbiased and academic discussion of history.

    [–] Throughout history, was it normal to have such blatant threats by a country such as North Korea and not be attacked? jschooltiger 2 points ago in AskHistorians

    Sorry, we don't allow "example seeking" questions. It's not that your question was bad; it's that these kinds of questions tend to produce threads that are collections of disjointed, partial, inadequate responses. If you have a question about a specific historical event, period, or person, feel free to rewrite your question and submit it again. If you don't want to rewrite it, you might try submitting it to /r/history, /r/askhistory, or /r/tellmeafact.

    For further explanation of the rule, feel free to consult this META thread.

    [–] Context behind this photo jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Hello there! As your question is related to looking for identification/information regarding military personnel, our Guide on Military Identification may be of use to you. It provides a number of different resources, including how to request service records from a number of national agencies around the world, as well as graphical aids to assist in deciphering rank, unit, and other forms of badges or insignia. While the users here may still be able to lend you more assistance, hopefully this will provide a good place to start!

    [–] When did it become standard practice for women to shave their legs and armpits? Did it correlate with men shaving their facial hair, or are the traditions separate? jschooltiger 10 points ago in AskHistorians

    No. The issue is that we have no way to verify who you or your nonni (who I'm sure is a fine lady) are -- that's just the nature of the internet. In any case, your anecdotal answer doesn't answer the question according to our subreddit standards.

    If you'd like to continue the conversation about anecdotes, we would invite you to take it to mod-mail or a META thread.

    Thanks!

    [–] When did it become standard practice for women to shave their legs and armpits? Did it correlate with men shaving their facial hair, or are the traditions separate? jschooltiger 3 points ago in AskHistorians

    Sorry, but this response has been removed because we do not allow personal anecdotes. While they're sometimes quite interesting, they're unverifiable, impossible to cross-reference, and not of much use without more context. This discussion thread explains the reasoning behind this rule.

    [–] What was considered basic human decency during the High Middle Ages? jschooltiger 5 points ago in AskHistorians

    This comment has been removed because it is soapboxing, promoting a political agenda, or moralizing. We don't allow content that does these things because they are detrimental to unbiased and academic discussion of history.

    [–] Could negotiation have prevented World War 1? jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Sorry, but your submission has been removed because we don't allow hypothetical questions. If possible, please feel free to rephrase the question so that it does not call for such speculation, and resubmit. Otherwise, this sort of thing is better suited for /r/HistoryWhatIf. You can find a more in-depth discussion of this rule here.

    [–] Is there any way to get further information on this flag, like exactly where and when it was captured? jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Hello there! As your question is related to looking for identification/information regarding military personnel, our Guide on Military Identification may be of use to you. It provides a number of different resources, including how to request service records from a number of national agencies around the world, as well as graphical aids to assist in deciphering rank, unit, and other forms of badges or insignia. While the users here may still be able to lend you more assistance, hopefully this will provide a good place to start!

    [–] Friday Free-for-All | August 18, 2017 jschooltiger 5 points ago in AskHistorians

    I enjoyed reading your blog post from Hiroshima. Looking forward to learning more about your trip!

    [–] Does anyone know who would be on the British throne if it wasn't for the sectarian law that was brought in? jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Hey -- thanks for reposting this, we appreciate it. The mod-team has sent some alerts to flairs who may be able to provide an answer in the area (our Jacobite expert is currently hors de combat.)

    [–] Would early violence have suppressed the fascist movements of the 20th century? jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Sorry, but your submission has been removed because we don't allow hypothetical questions. If possible, please feel free to rephrase the question so that it does not call for such speculation, and resubmit. Otherwise, this sort of thing is better suited for /r/HistoryWhatIf. You can find a more in-depth discussion of this rule here.

    [–] Public historians view on Robert E Lee statue jschooltiger 1 points ago in AskHistorians

    Sorry, I do understand your frustration, but we just really don't have the manpower to deal with current events threads :(