Flag Day 2008
June 14, 2008
As we go about our day, driving from place to place, in the cities we live in, we see the symbol of our country flying proudly. 231 years ago, on June 14th, 1777, Congress authorized the “Stars and Stripes” as the official symbol of the United States of America. The official entry in the journal of the Continental Congress 1774-1789 reads:
“Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
I often wonder how many parents in this great country, teach their children the significance of our nation’s symbol. Over the years, as people have screamed and hollered about their “Constitutional Rights” our children have learned less and less about it’s significance in our nations schools. Our children aren’t allowed to say the “Pledge of Allegiance” in school anymore, because the words might offend someone elses religious beliefs. Sad isn’t it? But I’m going to print those words here. Those words say so much about the foundation of our country. Just Thursday, I shared a story with our readers about a US Judge holding a naturalization ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, in order to impart upon the men and women who were taking the oath of citizenship, the importance of this country and the importance of the men and women who laid down their lives to ensure that they could enjoy their rights as American citizens. Judge Ellis, an immigrant himself, understood the significance of the “Pledge of Allegiance” and I would imagine that the 70 people taking the oath that day, understood it as well, by the time the ceremony was finished.
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
liberty and justice for all.
Such simple words, yet packed with so much meaning. The foundation of the ideals that our country was built on. Across our nation today, people will go about their daily lives and not give much thought to it’s meaning. At my house, we’ll celebrate Flag Day in several different ways. Around my house, are constant reminders of our country. Marty’s military memoriabilia is proudly displayed, from his Cav Stetson to his Spurs. We fly the flag proudly at our house. One wall is dedicated to the Soldiers in our family … Marty who officially retired from the Army on May 31st, after 22 years of Active Duty Service. My son Craig, who continues to serve in the Army National Guard and has for 10 years and Marty’s son Sean, who went to Basic Training last summer and is now serving at his first duty station. On the mantle of our fireplace, we have the flag that Marty was given in appreciation for his service to our country, proudly displayed. Today will be a day spent with many Soldiers and former Soldiers, as we gather together to celebrate Marty’s retirement from the Army. You can bet that we’ll pay tribute to our Flag.
Ask your children what they know about the history of Flag Day. I would venture that they probably know very little. Then take the time to tell them about the significance of our Flag. If you don’t know it, take the time to look it up. One great source of information is the National Flag Day Foundation. Below is their mission statement.
Our mission is to carry on the tradition of the first flag day observance. On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance. This observance, commemorated Congresses adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day. The crowning achievement of his life came at age fifty when President Wilson, on June 14, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day.
The National Flag Day Foundation joins forces with community groups and individuals that love our flag and want to keep its traditions alive.
Our goal is to teach Americanism, using Flag history, enlisting 4-H groups, VFW, Scouts and other patriots to teach the lessons of our great flag.
The National Flag Day Foundation initiates fund raising efforts to support Bernard J. Cigrands’ dream to fittingly commemorate the birthday of the American Flag. And to carry the message of our Flag to the future leaders of our great country – our youth.
We hope you will join us in our mission.