14 June 2011

Special Flag Day Edition...
Yepper, today is that wonderful (non) holiday - FLAG DAY.
To think this all began with some SCHOOL teacher up in Wisconsin WAY back in the mid-late 19th century.
And presented for your enjoyment, is the "history" courtesy of the USAFLAG.org website:
(( The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but 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'.
On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.
Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as 'Flag Day', and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.
Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public
Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.
In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in Chicago
was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.
Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself." Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National
Flag Day.
See? To any and all skeptics who may believe that today's world is "much better" than things USED to be (while I tend to argue the converse in many aspects), I submit to you that people THEN knew what such things as PATRIOTISM meant...and to acknowledge and appreciate the freedom and liberty this nation enjoys to this day (although not in such abundance as in time before)....
This was a time when our ELECTED government KNEW IT'S PLACE, and it certainly was not in the parlor of our very lives.
Many will argue that the world has changed, but I challenge you to remember that it is ALWAYS about PEOPLE.
Whether it's war OR peace...life OR death, good OR bad, the PEOPLE are always in the mix.
Sure, the tools or technologies used BY people will certainly figure into it, but HUMAN NATURE is the primary catalyst behind every single thing that comes across our lives.
And with times that have seen a lack of civility, a decrease in moral behavior, and an overall arrogance against the founding values and principles of this nation, we WILL believe that things are perilously close to getting out of control.
Now, we can attribute it ALL to mankind...human nature...social behavior (or engineering)...call it what you will.
But never forget to call things as they are...and in this case, it is all EVIL.
I'm not going to get all "sermony" here and start quoting ALL the biblical passages that refer to EVIL...we'd be here a good part of the day, but let's just realize that what is not good, is in fact...evil.
And America these days has plenty to go around.
Maybe that's we really NEED a "Flag Day".
America loves symbolism...
Look across this vast country and you will see it everywhere.
New York harbor has the Statue of Liberty.
Washington, D.C. has too many to mention, not the least of which is the Washington Monument itself.
Philadelphia has the Liberty Bell and the Betsy Ross House.
We have Mt. Rushmore, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Brooklyn Bridge...all icons that represent America's spirit of achievement.
We also have more local things that represent the same spirit, but in a more "intimate" way in those "Anytown, USA's" across the nation.
But it is always our nation's FLAG that flies above them all.
Doesn't matter if it's at a public SCHOOL, the nation's CAPITOL, at FORT McHENRY (where the poem that inspired our National Anthem was written), on Mt. Suribachi on the island of IWO JIMA, or even at GROUND ZERO where the WTC building once stood. Our flag STILL means something...or at least it SHOULD.
Those that merely state it's only a chunk of cloth with some stars and stripes on it perhaps never really understood the MEANING behind it...and probably never will.
And those that seek to desecrate the one of the most IMPORTANT symbols of our nation just totally miss the point.
The fact that their "freedom" to say what they feel and act as they do perfectly substantiates the reason WHY we fly the flag, and if they took the time to READ up on it, they'd understand.
But the rest of us ALREADY knew that...didn't we?
Anyway, there 'ya go...all the information you will need to comprehend the meaning behind our nation's "Old Glory".
Fly it proudly today...teach others by EXAMPLE.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


Slamdunk said...

Good post Bob and fitting that I am reading your post as our flag waves outside our front window.

It is amazing how some folks have so little respect or thanks for the freedoms they have been granted--and it seems that they use the most of them.

Bob G. said...

Why thanks for the kind words...as well as the IMPORTANT words.

When I was in school, we usually didn't let out for the summer until the END of June, so we attended classes during FLAG DAY.

In elementary school, we had parades and were allowed to bring our bikes and trikes to school, fully covered in red, white and blue buntings and streamers.

And yes, I may sound so damn repetitive here, but it WAS a better time then...

It's such a shame that people don't FULLY appreciate what our nation's number one icon stands for.
(And what it was founded in...such a strong tie to GOD)

Again, thank you for taking time to be a patriot...
And for stopping on by today to comment.

Stay safe out there.

CWMartin said...

I still remember Rick Monday saving a flag from those nutcases in Dodger Stadium. I wonder if they cared what universal articles of derision they became... and I wonder if they regret it now.

gadfly said...

And in the words and music of George M. Cohen:

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.


Bob G. said...

Those nutjobs are probably smoking their "medical" MJ along some storm sewer drain in the beautiful city of the Lost Angels...

I don't think people like that EVER understand much of anything worthwhile.

"If you're going to burn the flag, don't do it around me. I've been to too many veterans' hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it."

At least that's what RICK had to say about it.
Works for me.

Thanks for stopping by today.
Stay safe uo there.

Bob G. said...

Wonderful song...and another one of those we had to "learn" in elementary school when I was growing up.
"My Country 'Tis of Thee" and "America the Beautiful" being two more.

And then there was ALL the band music (especially Sousa)...

I still think we had a better handle of the flag then we seem to these days.
Hope that changes back soon.

Thanks much for taking time to drop by and comment.

Stay safe out there.