Saturday, June 14, 2008

While I may have been one of the first to complain...


about the current political climate in our country, there is something resounding glorious about Flag Day. Definitely a quiet holiday, it subtly sneaks up on me and I revel in its history.

June 14 is not an average day. As a conservative spender, I left my house early this morning before the Arizona sun blazed the temperature above 100 degrees. I wanted to fill up my half full tank of gas, pumped slowly of course, to maximize my investment. As I drove through the subdivision entrance, most of the flags already stood at attention, and the volunteers diligently grounded the few remaining poles. The sight comforts me and instills a great sense of pride.

I imagine a number of people do not have any idea why the flags are displayed today. Despite Flag Day being proclaimed a holiday by President Harry S Truman in 1949, it is not the kind of family picnic/day off holiday such as the 4th of July or Labor day.

Or, perhaps, it is part of my own personal history which helps me to remember. My sister Joan's wedding anniversary is so close to Flag Day but on June 12 and this week she celebrated for the 27th year. Happy anniversary Joan and John and here's to another twenty plus years!

Perhaps my Wisconsin roots offer an explanation of why I remember this day. My father always ensured we stopped at every historical marker and on numerous occasions, we passed the marker for Flag Day in Fredonia, Wisconsin. According to http://www.usflag.org/history/flagday.html:
...the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.
So celebrate the day knowing exactly why the flags burst onto the scene. Happy Flag Day!

1 comment:

Frank said...

I had forgotten it was Flag Day. i am truly ashamed. Especially since I have been following the Euro Cup 2008 soccer tourney and came to the conclusion that I like watching it and the World Cup because of watching different teams compete for the honor of their countries. And, I had forgotten that today was a day celebrating the symbol of our country. I had forgotten to honor my own country. Thanks for the reminder and the historical background.