Hang out the ‘Betsy Ross’ for the Fourth of July (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Any Independence Day is a good enough reason to pull out the red, white and blue. Set up a lemonade stand and a barbecue, get a good seat on Main Street for the hometown parade or head off to the beach before it’s time for the skies to light up as the firework display begins with a bang.

Judy’s Flag City
1340 El Camino Real
Belmont, CA 90403
(650) 610-0500

You have got to see it to believe it. For more than 20 years, Judy has been the leader in the Bay Area flag business, and her passion shows. She calls her store and its inventory the “Rolls Royce of flags,” adding that “the Fourth of July is our Christmas.” Decorative flags for all occasions are displayed on shelf after shelf, and with a made in the USA flag section, Uncle Sam would be in red, white and blue heaven at Judy’s. To let it all hang out at your house for Independence Day, start here.

Flag House
620 National Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 428-0109

While the online site sells and ships nationwide, the business maintains a small retail space as well. American flags are manufactured by Annin, made in the USA since 1847, of durable high-quality, weather-resistant fabric intended to last. Inventory includes red, white and blue bunting by the yard, flag garlands, banners, wind socks, auto fenders, colonial pulldowns, indoor flag sets and outdoor flags of all sizes. Poles, mounts, holders and brackets are also available. Call ahead for custom orders and quantities.

Ceremony at the Presidio (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Flag Emporium
19445 Riverside Drive, Suite 135
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 996-8140

Handsome bald eagles and stars and stripes forever illustrate the patriotic banners from this supplier. There’s bunting by the yard, USA flag pennant strings, flag streamers, pleated fan centers of cotton or polyester, high-flying wind dancers and wind socks to flutter at the slightest breeze and poles for hanging. See it all online or visit the shop Monday through Friday.

Paper Plus
1629 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 525-1799

Management calls this a Berkeley bonanza, as the “patriotic section” is stocked all year round. You’ll find all kinds of decorations for the party room and table settings for an outdoor picnic. From centerpieces to cocktail napkins, paper plates, cups and tablecloths to hats and necklaces to confetti, you can get all decked out for Fourth of July 2014. P.S. Don’t forget the helium balloons if you want to really snazz it up for Independence Day.

1940 S. El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 235-8448

Here’s a one-stop shop for your fête on the Fourth. Family-run since 1990 and now with seven locations around the Peninsula and South Bay, this location is second-largest after Mountain View. Do you suppose your party might be brightened up by a life-size cut-out of Uncle Sam? Or some face paint and red, white and blue hairspray? Perhaps a boa and tiara aren’t especially patriotic attire, but they might provide just the touch you’re looking for. Hand out the blow horns and confetti and remember to stock up on tableware. A 20-foot plastic reusable banner might look sharp on the backyard fence.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on Examiner.com.