Navy Day comes on October 27th, one of the increasing number of October “Fly Your Flag Today” dates, and one of the score designated in the U.S. Flag Code.
Feel free to put your political brickbats in comments.
October 12 is the traditional, old calendar date upon which Columbus’s journals show he “discovered” land west of the Atlantic, after sailing from Spain. (Surely there is an explanation for why the date was not altered to conform with the new calendar, but I digress.) In the finite wisdom of Congress, the holiday is designated on the “second Monday of October,” in order to promote three-day weekends and avoid holidays in the middle of the week.
The U.S. Flag Code urges Americans to fly their U.S. flags in honor of certain days. Columbus Day is a traditional (since the 19th century) holiday (especially for descendants of Italian immigrants), and one of the score of dates denoted in the Flag Code.
Fly your flag today.
Or, if you’re in South Dakota, fly your flag for Native American Day.
Happy Constitution day! (Remember to fly your flag today.)
Have you read the U.S. Constitution lately?
Contrary to what your local Tea Party claims, it hasn’t changed. But most people need a refresher from time to time.
Okay, maybe that’s a little tough to read. Check out the on-line display of the National Archives and Records Administration in the Charters of Freedom section:
- A much-easier-to-read transcript of the Constitution (so you don’t have to strain at the image above)
- “A More Perfect Union,” an essay on the creation of the Constitution
- Questions and answers on the 1787 Convention in Philadelphia, and on the Constitution
- The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution
- Amendments 11 through 27 — notice that, although not ratified until 1991, the 27th Amendment was in the package of amendments proposed by James Madison in 1789, a package of twelve proposed amendments, of which ten were ratified within a few months to become the Bill of Rights
- Stories about the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787
- Faulkner murals in the Archives Rotunda, on the presentation of the Constitution (and Declaration of Independence)
- Information on visiting the actual documents, at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
- Constitution’s extra page shown in public for first time (news.yahoo.com)
- Sepetember 17th is Constitution Day! (rulibrary.typepad.com)
- OUR VIEW: The U.S. Constitution at 225 (tauntongazette.com)
- Baker Center celebrates Constitution Day (knoxnews.com)
- The Bill Of Rights Institute Celebrates Constitution Day With Free Education Resources (paramuspost.com)
- U.S. Day, March 4 — anniversary of the Constitution’s enactment
- Constitution Day 2008 – featuring links to interactive Howard Chandler Christy painting of the signing of the document
- Oh, heck — go directly there! Prof. Gordon Lloyd created an interactive version of Christy’s painting, linking to information about each of the delegates pictured – it’s fun
- Celebrating Constitution Day All Week Long! (teacherlingo.com)
- The Bill of Rights Institute Celebrates Constitution Day With Free Education Resources (educationviews.org)
- Lesson plans for the day from the U.S. Constitution Center
- Interactive Constitution (from the Constitution Center)
- Could you pass the test to become a U.S. citizen? Try this quiz from the Constitution Center
- Constitution in your pocket — from the Washington Post
To honor those who died on September 11, 2001, flags in the U.S. fly at half-staff on September 11. Known as Patriot Day, the date is not in the Flag Code, but is listed in a separate law.
To further honor the dead, and survivors, many people participate in a day of service to others.
President Barack Obama issued a proclamation ordering all federal facilities to fly flags at half-staff:
PATRIOT DAY AND NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE AND REMEMBRANCE, 2014
- – – – – – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
America will never forget the September tragedy that shook our Nation’s core 13 years ago. On a day that began like so many others, a clear blue sky was pierced by billowing black smoke as a wave of grief crashed over us. But in one of our darkest moments, we summoned strength and courage, and out of horrible devastation emerged the best of our humanity. On this solemn anniversary, we pause in remembrance, in reflection, and once again in unity.
On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 men, women, and children — friends and neighbors, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters — were taken from us with a heartbreaking swiftness and cruelty. As we come together once more to mourn their loss, we also recall how the worst terrorist attack in our history brought out the true character of the American people. Courageous firefighters rushed into an inferno, brave rescue workers charged up stairs, and coworkers carried others to safety. Americans in distant cities and local towns united in common purpose, demonstrating the spirit of our Nation; people drove across the country to volunteer, donors lined up to give blood, and organizations collected food and clothing. And in our Nation’s hour of need, millions of young Americans raised in a time of peace volunteered to don the uniforms of our country’s military and defend our values around the world.
As we remember all those we lost on that day and the Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars that followed, we must strive to carry forward their legacy. On this National Day of Service and Remembrance, we take up their unfinished work and pay tribute to their lives with service and charity. Through these acts and quiet gestures, we can honor their memory and reclaim our sense of togetherness. I encourage all Americans to visit www.Serve.gov or www.Servir.gov to learn more about service opportunities across our country.
In the face of great terror, some turned to God and many found comfort in family and friends — but all Americans came together as one people united not only in our grief, but also in our determination to stand with one another and support the country we love. Today and all days, we remember the patriots who endure in the hearts of our Nation and their families who have known the awful depths of loss. In their spirit, let us resolve to move forward together and rededicate ourselves to the ideals that define our Union as we work to strengthen our communities and better our world.
By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as “Patriot Day,” and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the observance of September 11 as an annually recognized “National Day of Service and Remembrance.”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2014, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. I call upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I invite the Governors of the United States and its Territories and interested organizations and individuals to join in this observance. I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
Do you plan any special service today?
U.S. Flag Code guidelines list specific days Americans should fly U.S. flags, and generically, urges people in states to fly flags on their state’s day of achieving statehood.
It’s fun to read through the list of statehood dates and ponder just how such a date is calculated (consider the first 13 colonies and their becoming states); but however it was calculated, September 9 is California’s day.
Fly your flags, California.
California was the 31st state admitted; 31-star flags were in use until Minnesota’s statehood in 1858. Here’s a unique design on the 31-star motif:
Flag flying dates in September? Three more (you flew your flag for Labor Day, right?):
- September 9, for California statehood
- September 11, for Patriot Day (not listed in the U.S. Flag Code, but encouraged in other law. Public Law No. 107-89)
- September 17,for Constitution Day
- California Admission Day
- California Admission Day, September 9, 1850 – California Parks and Recreation
- Patriot Day
- Patriot Day – 9/11 Commemorations and Memorials
- Constitution Day
- Teaching With Documents/Constitution Day, U.S. National Archives
- Constitution Day page from the National Constitution Center (Who is behind ConstitutionDay.com?)
- Dates to fly the flag, and links to the U.S. Flag Code in U.S. law
Trivia note: The U.S. flag is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.
Remember to fly your flag today for Labor Day, to honor all laborers, and especially those in the union movement to whom we owe gratitude for the concepts and reality of safe work places, good pay, benefits (including health benefits), and vacations.
2014 notes the 100th anniversary of the Ludlow, Colorado Massacre. Labor Day should give us all pause to consider those who lost their lives campaigning for good wages, for decent working hours, for good and safe working conditions, and for the right of workers to negotiate collectively the companies who employ them for these things.
Have a good Labor Day. Celebrate with family and coworkers. Kick off the 2014 elections.
- “While you’re celebrating Labor Day,” at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, September 5, 2011
- “Labor Day History,” MFB, September 6, 2010 (a list of sources on the history of Labor Day)
- “2-minute history of Labor,” MFB, September 2, 2013
- “Quote of the moment: Abraham Lincoln, ‘Labor is the superior of capital,'” MFB, September 12, 2012