Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rant #757: Flag Day

Today is Flag Day.

Does anyone even know what Flag Day is all about?

Since the first Flag Day in 1861, the holiday signifies the day that the flag of the United States was adopted by this country, in 1777.

The familiar "Stars and Stripes" has undergone many alterations over the past 235 years, but not much has happened to change Old Glory since 1959, when Alaska and Hawaii were welcomed into the Union.

But certainly, the flag has changed a lot since it was launched in the days of the American Revolution.

Today is also cited as the birthday of the U.S. Army. Congress adopted the American Continental Army on this day in 1775, and that Army was the forerunner of the modern U.S. Army, so today is the Army's birthday.

And the Army has always upheld our flag with honor and grace.

I don't ever remember Flag Day being that big a holiday, but when I was a kid, it was certainly more visible.

Flags were hung out on many residences, including apartment buildings, where people displayed their flags outside their windows.

But it was never celebrated like July 4th was, and is, and it was never celebrated like other holidays that honor our country.

Parades are held in some places, and actually, Flag Day has been partially usurped by Flag Week, which begins today. The President annually issues a declaration stating the every American should display the flag for the duration of that week, so this year, flags should be displayed through Saturday, June 16.

But there isn't much more to say about Flag Day.

Everyone works on Flag Day, there are no cookouts, and generally, no special observances.

It is kind of a poor stepchild to July 4, I guess.

But when you see the Stars and Stripes today, take a second to think about what it represents, what it stands for, and how important it is in our lives.

Sure, we all take it for granted, but our flag is really the greatest work of art mankind has ever created.

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