A day to fly a flag: Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 19, 2009

Old Glory and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Old Glory and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., addresses the crowd outside the United Nations, April 15, 1967," by Benedict J. Fernandez

Our flags get a double shot of exercise this week.  Flags fly on the third Monday of January in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tomorrow, the flags fly in honor of the inauguration of the president of the U.S., a once-every-four-years event.  Back-to-back flag fly dates.

We live in a brief period when history piles up deeply, so quickly  it is almost beyond our ability to take it in, let alone appreciate the experience.  41 years after the death Martin Luther King, Jr., we prepare to swear in an African-American as president.

For the first time in U.S. history, we fly flags in honor of two different African-Americans, on consecutive days, with sanction from the Congress and laws of the United States.

P. Z. Myers wonderfully reflects on the legacy and thoughts of King here, “There are good reasons to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.,” letting King speak for himself.  History is Elementary features a good sampling of materials teachers can use on King, here, “King Day, 2009.” Farm School hightlights King’s advocacy of nonviolence with a good focus on his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

So, go put your flag up today, and fly it tomorrow, too.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Lyndon B. Johnson, at the White House, on December 3, 1963 - photo by Yoichi Okamoto; public domain, LBJ Library/National Archives

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Lyndon B. Johnson, at the White House, on December 3, 1963 - photo by Yoichi Okamoto; public domain, LBJ Library/National Archives


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