Saturday, June 14, 2014

Flag Day

Today in the USA it's Flag Day.

When I was a kid the American flag only had 48 stars, so you can tell I'm old.

In school we saluted the flag as we said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang America the Beautiful every morning. (The Star Spangled Banner required greater voice range than most kids had.)

Many schools still say the pledge, but public schools, at least those in my state, no longer allow a song that mentions God because of separation of church and state.

Back then we were taught that the American flag should never be up outdoors after dark, or during rain or snowy weather. Schools, Girl and Boy Scouts and military bases had flag raising and lowering ceremonies at the beginning and ending of each day.

The reason flags were lowered when it was dark or stormy is because they were made of fabrics like cotton and would become damaged easily. When synthetic materials like polyester became available flags made of those things could be safely left outside in all kinds of weather. That's why they don't get lowered and raised all the time anymore.

But one tradition should be kept and often isn't. We were taught that the American flag should never be allowed to touch the ground. Of course aflag should be kept clean and touching the ground, even on pavement or floors, it's likely to gather dirt.

After the terrorist attack of September 11th, 2001 millions of Americans displayed flags. I was sorry to see lots of them draped over the hoods of parked cars and trucks with the edges dragging in driveways, and displayed in other places where they would get dirty.

Flags that are torn or dirty shouldn't be displayed. That's basic manners.

4 comments:

Penelope Cole said...

Hi Jan, I put out a new flag because my old one is faded. I want to get paint and re-paint it, but I have a long list of other stuff to get to first. Yes, I agree that things have changed in schools and not for the better about the Pledge and singing songs. I doubt most kids know the old songs nowadays. A lot of schools don't even do the Pledge any more. I'm pleased when they do, but not surprised when they don't. We still have a couple of homes with flags painted on their garage doors. I sort of like that, but maybe it's too much now. How much patriotism is too much, how little it too little?

Janet Ann Collins said...

I'm afraid I can't answer your question, Penny.

Nancy Stewart said...

I love this post, Jan. I, too, am one of the 48 stars girls and chuckled at your comment.

Well done, as always!

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks, Nancy. We're oldies, but goodies.