Monday, June 14, 2010

Flag Day

  It is flag day, Company, and I don't see a God-damned thing hanging out in front of your house, except that pastel looking this with the flower on it that your wife insists on putting up all summer long.  Well don't worry, there isn't a flag hanging out in front of my branch of the Worldwide Headquarters either, mostly because I don't have a flagpole or own a flag.  But that is okay.
     The day represents the celebration of the adoption of the US Flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.  It was first celebrated by a bunch of people, or at least that is what I would assume.  I looked it up and there were like a half dozen names and dates listed there, and I have to admit, I am way to busy to read all that junk.  So I didn't.  But I do know this, we spend a lot of days over the course of the year celebrating the things that the flag represents: America, freedom, veterans, etc.  Those sorts of things.  As well we should.  So, shouldn't we take a day to celebrate the thing that we hang out on all those days?  The thing that was spared as the British bombarded Baltimore?  The thing that is now mandatory for every sports uniform and politician's lapel in the country, lest they be criticized as being un-American?
     Yes, we should celebrate it.  But that doesn't mean that we have to fly it.  Wait, what?  That's a lie, you've got me.  By law we are supposed to, but I don't think that is a good law.  We don't celebrate the statehood of Montana by stringing Montana up on a pole.  We don't celebrate the Feat Day of St. Ignatius by planting a bunch of little St. Ignatius' in the ground.  NO.  We celebrate Montana statehood by, I don't know, eating some free range beef or maybe driving really fast on the freeway.  We celebrate the Feast Day of St. Ignatius by writing early letters on Christian Theology (Ignatius of Antioch) or supporting teachers (Ignatius of Loyola) or opposing Iconoclasm (Ignatius of Constantinople).  Okay, maybe I should have picked a name that didn't belong to three different saints, especially when two of them aren't the patron saint of anything good.  Coincidentally, there is a St. Ignatius, Montana.  I didn't do that on purpose, I swear.
     But back to the lecture at hand, yes we are supposed to fly the flag on flag day but no we shouldn't have to - although it would be nice - but we should be honoring it by doing things such as making our students write flag-themed essays, maybe getting a nice tattoo of it on ourselves, or maybe helping a local community group give old, worn, and tattered specimens a proper disposal.  Many communities have a parade to commemorate the flag and what it stands for, and that is a fantastic way to go about it.  Not only do I love parades without fail, I think it is a neat way to honor this ever-changing symbol of America.  So go out, get a flag, parade down the street with it, and then hang it up properly in front of your house, apartment, etc.  That is what you should do because that is the right thing to do.  And it is the legal thing to do, although I still maintain it shouldn't be.  Happy Flag Day everyone!

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