Over the weekend we celebrated Flag Day! Actually it was yesterday, June 14th. Did you know that Flag Day became an actual official Day of Note when President Woodrow Wilson signed the decree in 1916? True stuff. AND did you further know that June 14th was specifically chosen as the day because the original Stars & Stripes Flag was passed into resolution by the Second Continental Congress on June 14th 1777?
I will admit that I knew neither of those facts until I looked it up. But there you have it! Flag Day Factoids! Cool!
I did know that when the American Revolutionary War began we had no flag. Well no official flag. Many of the small ragtag regiments had their own personal flags to rally 'round but there was no official American Flag because well, at the point there was no official United States of America. Nobody knew how that war was going to turn out. They had hopes of course, but it wasn't a done deal.
But it happened. The United States of America became it's own separate country and needed it own flag. The agreed upon original flag had 13 stripes of alternating red and white and 13 white stars on a field of blue. Why 13? Well at that time there were only 13 colonies. As our country grew so did the number of stars, one for each state.
Ok that last part you probably already were familiar with but did you know that way back in 1885 a school teacher in a small town in Wisconsin, a gentleman by name of Bernard Cigrand, began the idea of flag day and lead the first formal observance of flag day in his school. He continued to promote the idea throughout his life. Thirty years later, (and he was still around to appreciate it) Flag Day became an official Day of Observance. I didn't know that.
Being patriotic citizens, we have had our own American Flags before at our various homes. In Connecticut there was a flag holder on one of the columns by the front door which was very handy. It only held small flags, all of which seemed to come on rather flimsy aluminum poles which bent at the slightest breeze. We had to replace the flag every year.
When we moved to Colorado, we bought another one of those handy dandy flag holder thingies and again, put it right on one of the pillars of the front porch. And it was a hefty one too so we could have a nice big American Flag on a sturdy wooden staff. And that lasted right up until one of the impressively strong Colorado winds whipped through unexpectedly and snapped it right in half like it was a matchstick while Tim and I were both at work. Dang.
We replaced it with a smaller holder and smaller flags which occasionally were pulled (by that same wind) right out of the holder and danced around the neighborhood or into the prairie and fields behind us. It became not only tedious but expensive to constantly replace.
When we moved here we had every intention of starting anew but since our house sits back from the road and there are some rather large (and lovely) shrubs, trees, and hedges in front of the house, it would be nearly invisible. We considered attaching it somehow to the mailbox but we discarded that idea in favour of actually receiving our mail. I predict that the mail delivery person would not be overjoyed to have to do battle with a flag to put the mail in the box. And so we went flagless for nearly 4 years. Awwwwww
Then Tim found out that there is a veterans organization that, for a very small sum will put up a flag for you before every flag-oriented holiday and then take it back down and (the best part) store it for you at their facility for an entire year. The best part is that the money goes to veterans in need. What a terrific idea! We voted Yes on that one with no hesitation. So we filled out the form and sent in the check and on Friday a very nice gentleman, a WWII veteran as a matter of fact, showed up with our new flag and with some other fellows put a bit of PVC in the ground as a holder and stuck our new official American Flag into it and went on their merry way. In a few days they will come and pick it back up (and leave the PVC in the ground for future use).
A quick glance up and down our street will show the exact same flag situation in front of almost every house. Along with a lot of garbage cans. Sorry it was garbage pickup day and not everyone has brought in their can yet. But you get the idea. It's lovely to see.
So we are delighted that Old Glory is flying in front of our house again. And will for every flag related day for an entire year. Wherreupon we will send in our money and do it again. And again. And again.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.