Post 796: Flag Day 2015

Americans are rabidly in love of their national flag, a fact that haters use to good effect when they burn or defile it in protest of whatever pisses them off about America.

I won’t attempt to explain this love, this near-cultish celebration of a national symbol, just note that Congress approved the original design for the flag on this day, June 14th, 1777. Today is the US flag’s 238th birthday! 3D_US_Flag_Screensaver_1238

 I note the irony of flag burning by haters of America and its ideals or foibles is that burning the flag is the recommended method of disposing of those flags that are worn, torn, faded from long display. 

It isn’t that burning the flag is wrong, it’s that not doing it with the appropriate respect and ceremony provided by the American Legion is! And today is the day those burnings happen! Here in town, people’ve been bringing their flags into the military museum for today’s ceremony.

...and you thought it was as simple as running it up a flagpole! WRONG!

…and you thought it was as simple as running it up a flagpole! WRONG!

Frankly, Americans love their flag to death and regularly abuse and misuse it, thinking they are displaying something like a patriotic spirit. Take a look at the rules, in depth, for use of the US flag, and ask yourself how many times you’ve — oops! — accidentally, inadvertently disrespected it through improper display and handling.

Happy Flag Day! You and I aren’t bad people, just slightly ill-informed sometimes.

Hope this helps. Now take off that dang shirt made from the flag!


A side note: As a US Army veteran, I want to wish the US Army a 240th birthday. It was established on June 14th, 1775, two years before the US flag. 

20 thoughts on “Post 796: Flag Day 2015

    • Thanks! Many people outside the USA have difficulty understanding why Americans display their flag in so many places so much of the time, but there is carries a lot of meaning to us. Sometimes we seem a bit extreme about it, yet that’s how we are.

  1. I wrote a comment like this on another blog:
    Germans have not such a special devotion for their flag and my personal opinion is it is slightly strange to make up a cult for a symbol. That is as if you celebrated Easter Eggs all by themselves – when it is all about the sacrifice … (And that from somebody who has not been to church for years and love chocolate eggs.)
    Don’t get me wrong, I do not hate flags. I just see them as what they are, symbols. Not the real thing, they only represent the real thing. Not that I would disrespect a flag by doing things with it. Not even of states I despise (like North Korea).

    • The word “chauvinism” comes top mind. It is a very touchy subject in this country, actually. I read one comment today where the woman assumed that only right wing (Fascists) people like herself could love their country or its flag. She contended you hand the flag to a “liberal progressive” (which I tend towards), he’d stomp it in the ground and burn it. What an idiot! I personally don’t go in for lots of flag waving, though I basically love my country, warts and all. I’m just not silly about it.

      • Same here. Whenever Germany plays in football world cup – hey, let the people fly flags as much as they like, there is nothing wrong with it – they do it for the right reason, not because they think our nation is superior. It is just what you do – flying the national flag when your team is in a tournament.

        • Well, “USA! USA! USA!” I totally understand! One thing athletes do that is in violation of the US flag law is wrap themselves in the flag after a win. Fans, similarly, might do this in the stadium.

          • I agree. I think the USA chant, while nothing more than a show of enthusiasm for the “home team”, sometimes comes across as US arrogance to people outside the country. We like to win! And we definitely like to cheer our teams.

          • I don’t mind chants. And I do not mind treating flags with respect – far from that! But I think to treat a flag with respect – and to celebrate the flag itself – that’s a different kind of treatment. The second comes over as cult-ish …

  2. Very nice post. Our local grocery chain, Big Y, collects flags this time of year to dispose of them properly. I didn’t realize you were a veteran- thank you for your service.

    • Each country has its expectations and rules or laws. The ones related to the US flag are a law, but there are no penalties for breaking the law. Periodically, people try to get an amendment to the US Constitution making it unconstitutional to burn the flag. Personally, I think flag burning is uncommon than, but it is so provocative to many Americans, it’s like committing a blasphemous act in church or something similar.

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