Friday, June 14, 2013

Flag Day in the United States

     Today is Flag Day in the United States of America.  It is a day to celebrate a great symbol of our nation, the red, white and blue - the stars and stripes.  Established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, this day commemorates the adoption of our flag by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.  This symbol, along with the bald eagle and the great seal, remind us of what this great experiment in democracy has brought to the world community in these last two hundred plus years. 

     I almost forgot about the observance until I was driving through town and saw the flags out along the streets.  It is a glorious sight.  I'm sort of patriotic that way.  I remember the flag with forty-eight stars (before Alaska and Hawaii).  I remember displaying the flag with great care and honor for holidays, especially my birthday which fell on Memorial Day.  We had a large flag that we hung straight down from our porch.  I remember visiting Fort McHenry in Baltimore and during the tour having one of the red stripes the size of the original flag of that fort unfurled.  It was gigantic, and the original flag of that size during the battle of Baltimore harbor became the inspiration of Francis Scott Key's poem which became the National Anthem.  I am honored to have in my possession the flag that covered the casket of my Dad at his funeral, representing his service during World War II.

     Many in our day do not understand the importance and power of symbols.  They knowingly and unknowingly desecrate the flag by wearing it as clothing, displaying it incorrectly, and just plain abusing the symbol.  On this day may we look upon it with pride and respect.

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