It’s hard for me to concentrate today. The storms in Oklahoma hit so close to home being in the mid-west. We often get tornadoes in Wisconsin, but we have yet to have one as large as the Moore disaster. My heart breaks for all those affected. Our internet service went down last night as the storm passed through our region, and today it is sunny and beautiful as if nothing bad ever happened.
The winner for last week’s Redwall book give away on Anything Goes on Monday is Dianne! Yeah! Thanks for reading, I am so grateful!
I am not doing a give away next week because of the Memorial Day holiday. I am taking the holiday week off to be with family and celebrate our oldest son’s high school graduation. Be sure and stop back for updates after Memorial Day!
In light of the Memorial Day observation and the Oklahoma disaster, it seems fitting to talk about patriotism. I have been working preparations for our upcoming holiday picnic that we are hosting.
I love flags. They are so colorful and beautiful. I had to review the US Flag Code to remember how to properly hang our flag. I would not want to offend anyone by doing it incorrectly. According to the Code, the stars (referred to as the Union) always hang on the left when the flag is in this vertical position.
Other Code rules: Never let the flag touch the ground. Keep the flag aloft and free. Never carry it flat or horizontally.
Always keep the flag clean and safe. Do not let it become torn, soiled or damaged.
Always treat the flag with respect. Never use a flag for advertising purposes. It is never to be worn on clothing or attached to household items.
I had a hard time with this last rule.
These are excellent reminders. I hope that by using mini-flags as party favors we are still being respectful. On this holiday, to me, these flags are a reminder of those who have died keeping us a free nation. But keeping to the Code is not always easy in today’s society. There are so many variations and grey interpretations, it seems as though the US Flag Code is not taught any more.
When I went shopping for a flag, I had to go to several stores before I even found one that sold actual flags. There were oceans of red, white and blue decorations, but very few actual flags. There were mountains of flag inspired items like wind socks, placemats, napkins and T-shirts.
MOUNTAINS OF THEM.
To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the real thing.
It didn’t use to be this way. Perhaps I am getting old. I remember when we had flag ceremonies in grade school. We all learned to properly raise, lower and fold the flag. It was an honor to be chosen to partake in this exercise. On Memorial Day, we all watched the parade which ended at the town cemetery for a special ceremony. The entire town was involved. Memorial Day was one of my favorite holidays. It still is.
We all knew the Pledge of Allegiance.
We all sang America the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner.
We all learned to respect this symbol of our country.
We are learning the US Flag Code as part of our home schooling. I am grateful for the freedom that we have to make this choice and educate our children on this important topic. We all have choices to make. We choose not wear flag t-shirts or patriotic clothing for these holidays. We take our flag down at night, and fold it according to the Code. We always place our hand over our heart when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance or sing our National Anthem. I hope these are things our kids will pass on to their children.
We have learned that the term “respect” also means “to look back”. By respecting our national Flag symbol, we look back upon our nation’s history and those who died protecting our freedoms.
“The Flag stands for all that we hold dear– freedom, democracy, government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Henry Cabot Lodge, 1915
Fly your flag at half mast until noon on Memorial Day.
If you are unsure of how to respectfully display your flag for this holiday season, refer to the US Flag Code
and the National Flag Foundation for more information.