Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flag Day June 14 – Display the Flag This Saturday

I had to look up information about Flag Day in Wikipedia because I had no idea what the day commemorated besides obviously the United States flag.

Here’s what Wikipedia said:

“In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

“In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday.”

It must be because Flag Day is not an official federal holiday that the day gets so little attention. Yet it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate the flag of the United States.

In MRS. LIEUTENANT, Sharon Gold is surprised to learn that, at the college graduation of Kim Benton’s husband Jim, the Confederate flag was larger than the American flag. To Sharon in May of 1970 this is incomprehensible. Why would this be?

Now in 2008 I’ve spent the last months reading about New Orleans, the South and the Confederacy. And while I understand the Southern view much better now – the view that led to what Southerners call the War Between the States and we Northerners call the Civil War – I still can’t understand how, 100 years after the end of that war, Southerners would still think of themselves first as Southerners and second as U.S. citizens.

Perhaps 9/11 changed that view – or perhaps that view changed soon after 1970. I certainly hope that the U.S. flag is now the largest flag flying at a Southern college graduation today.

This Saturday, June 14, proudly display your United States flag.

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