Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Hoist It

 I have a friend who claims that today is his very favorite holiday. Here in the United States, we celebrate Flag Day on June 14th. Have no fear. Mail will still be delivered and most government offices will remain open, but there will be flags. A preponderance of them. 

The reason for all this minor hullabaloo is the anniversary of the date way back in 1777 when the design for our nation's flag was introduced and a resolution from the Second Continental Congress was issued:   "Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

It wasn't until 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday. That's when all the parades started. Across America, cities and towns take turns announcing that they have the longest running streak of Flag Day parades in the country To be fair, the limits of what constitutes a parade on Flag Day are pretty slim. A few people and a flag would just about cover it. Probably close off traffic for a little while, but not enough to keep anyone away from the big Flag Day sales down at the mall. 

The challenge for Flag Day comes from inside. The summer months are bracketed by Memorial Day and Labor Day, both carrying with them the three day weekend them along with the encouragement from the powers that be to fly our flag. And smack in the middle is the granddaddy of them all: Independence Day. Couple this with my neighbors' insistence that fireworks should be set off at all times of the day and night starting sometime in late May and lasting until somewhere around the first day of school and you get the picture: Flag Day sometimes gets lost in the patriotic wash. 

Which is probably why my friend holds it so dear. There's an underdog element that cannot go ignored. So I'll be hanging my flags out today. The "stars and bars" along with the peace flag that my family has adopted as its standard. We will celebrate in the only way we know how. Short of the parade, that is, because we are Americans. And obtusely proud of it. 

No comments: