Isn’t it surprising about the variety of occasions when we get caught up in a very patriotic fervor?
It’s not just on the Fourth of July. Think about what we do during the seventh inning stretch of a baseball game. We all stand up and sing “God Bless America,” although that is not our national anthem. And when we attend a parade, some of us (mostly veterans) will stand at attention and even salute to show respect when the flag passes by.
Patriotism is pounded into us from childhood. We are proud to be Americans when we visit foreign shores, and have the opportunity to see how much better off we are than the people in most other nations. Yet here at home we are not so much Americans as party members, defining ourselves as either red or blue states, Republican or Democrats. And our ancestry defines us even more. Even if our families have been in the U.S. for generations, we are Irish, German, Italian, Russian, Polish, Armenian, Hispanic, ad infinitum. There are the often ignored Native Americans, but only overseas are we all known as Americans.
So as Americans I believe we should all show some recognition for our flag. Only a precious few of us display it properly on the prescribed holidays, and I’d like to urge more to fly their flags proudly.
There is a flag code, a way to hang the flag correctly. When keeping it up all night, a light should always be shining on it. It should be folded in a certain manner, as properly shown when military personnel fold the flag at funerals of fallen comrades.
Most people are completely ignorant about the days when the flag should be officially displayed. This year they are May 8, which is VE Day commemorating victory in Europe at the end of World War II; Armed Forces Day, May 19; Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, this month it’s May 27; D Day, June 6; Flag Day, June 14; National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, July 27; of course July 4; VJ Day, victory over Japan Aug. 13; Labor Day, Sept. 2; Patriot Day, Sept. 11; POW/MIA Recognition Day, Sept. 21; Veterans Day, Nov. 11; and Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7. This information comes from various veterans’ groups who are proud to fly Old Glory’s red, white and blue.