CARA CHISOLM: Significance of Flag Day

CJ-0522-eddychisolm-2KIf you take a close look at most calendars, many of the dates have notations of their special significance.

Many of these dates are special dates for displaying the U.S. flag.
Many of us fly the flag every day, but there are days designated as especially important for flying our flags. We all should take an extra long look at “Ole Glory” on these days.
Take the month of May, for example. We have VE Day (May 8), Mother’s Day, Armed Forces Day (third Saturday), and Memorial Day (last Monday).
June has D-Day (June 6), Flag Day (June 14), and Father’s Day and we all remember the 4th of July (Independence Day, not cook-out day).
There are so many special times to display the flag that it has been given its own special day. June 14, Flag Day, is the birthday of the 1777 adoption of The Stars and Stripes, the country’s flag. The first record of the flag’s birthday recognition was 1885 when a schoolteacher in Fredonia, Wisconsin, organized a flag birthday party for the students. The idea spread to schools in New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Adult organizations also began to celebrate “Flag Birthday” or “Flag Day.”
In 1914, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior spoke on Flag Day. In his speech he repeated the words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning, “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially recognizing “Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777.” Finally, in 1949, Congress designated June 14 as National Flag Day. This act was signed into law by President Truman.
As mentioned in a previous article, there comes a time when a flag has performed its duty and is worn and tired. Yet we all know that there are laws defining proper treatment and disposal of flags.
Several years ago, the local Pilot Club, VFW and American Legion organizations joined in an effort to retire worn flags with honor in a Flag Retirement Ceremony.
This event is usually scheduled for Flag Day. Prior to the Retirement, boxes are placed in locations throughout Houston for people to deposit flags – local banks, Pearson’s Drugs, Carnegie Library, Civic Center, City Hall, Chickasaw Journal, Griffin Motors and Rex Sanderson’s Law office. Pilot members will collect these flags and prepare them for disposal.
The Flag Retirement Ceremony will be held on Friday, June 14 (Flag Day) at Joe Brigance Park at 5 p.m. Please plan to join us. If you have never attended one of these ceremonies, you have missed a very moving experience.
If you do not get off from work until 5 p.m., come anyway. It will be very easy for you to quietly blend into the group.

See you there.

Cara Chisolm
Pilot Club of Houston


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