February 2018, dates to fly the U.S. flag


Todd Lodwick carries the flag of the United States of America, which flies directly over the head of former U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program bobsledder Steven Holcomb, reigning Olympic champion four-man bobsled driver, as Team USA marches into Fisht Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Feb. 7, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Army WCAP luger Sgt. Preston Griffall (right behind lady in white) and WCAP bobsledders Sgt. Justin Olsen, Capt. Chris Fogt and Sgt. Dallas Robinson also are among the lead group of Americans (Photo Credit: Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs)

Lots of flag waving in February of Winter Olympics years, like 2018. Caption from the U.S. Army: Todd Lodwick carries the flag of the United States of America, which flies directly over the head of former U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program bobsledder Steven Holcomb, reigning Olympic champion four-man bobsled driver, as Team USA marches into Fisht Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Feb. 7, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Army WCAP luger Sgt. Preston Griffall (right behind lady in white) and WCAP bobsledders Sgt. Justin Olsen, Capt. Chris Fogt and Sgt. Dallas Robinson also are among the lead group of Americans (Photo Credit: Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs)

You want to mark your calendar so you remember to put your U.S. flag up on those dates designated by law and tradition, right?

Which dates in February?

  • Massachusetts statehood, February 6 (6th state, 1788)
  • Lincoln’s birthday, February 12 (yes, it’s still designated in law as a date to fly the flag)
  • Oregon statehood, February 14 (33rd state, 1859)
  • Arizona statehood, February 14 (48th state, 1913)
  • Washington’s birthday, now designated President’s Day, the third Monday in February, February 19 in 2018

You may fly your flag on state holidays, too — which of those dates do we see in February?  Is there a good list?

Though we don’t mark it usually, February 14 is the anniversary of the first recognition of the Stars and Stripes by a foreign government, in 1778.  The French fleet recognized the ensign carried by Capt. John Paul Jones, at Quiberon Bay — painting of the event is at the top of this post.

February 23 is the anniversary of the raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima, in 1945 — 72 years ago.  We should probably watch for proclamations to fly the flag on that date, an anniversary made more important simply because so few survivors of from among the veterans of that war and that fight can be expected to live to see the 80th anniversary. Regardless any official, formal proclamation to fly the flag for the Iwo Jima events, you may always fly your flag.

Please visit earlier posts at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, on the death of Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who took the widely-released iconic photo; on the death of Charles Lindberg, pictured in the first flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi; on the death of Raymond Jacobs, the last-surviving veteran from the flag raisings; and on my visit to the Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima-themed U.S. Marine Memorial overlooking Washington, D.C.

A Youtube poster edited a part of the Army’s documentary, “To the Shores of Iwo Jima,” showing the flag raising on film, and added in some other images for a less-than-three-minute look. (Alas, that edited version is gone — here’s the full 20-minute movie; propaganda at its best, for noble purposes.)

Winter Olympics kick off in South Korea in early February — there will be much U.S. flag waving, especially if the U.S. athletes perform as well as many expect and win medals. Olympics events, both summer and winter, often provide large public forums for improper flag display, too — but we ignore that, since no disrespect is intended, usually.

Wave your flag!

More:

Photo #: 80-G-K-21225 (color)

Caption from the U.S. Navy, via Wikipedia: Photo #: 80-G-K-21225 (color) “First Recognition of the American Flag by a Foreign Government,” 14 February 1778. Painting in oils by Edward Moran, 1898. It depicts the Continental Navy Ship Ranger, commanded by Captain John Paul Jones, receiving the salute of the French fleet at Quiberon Bay, France, 14 February 1778. Earlier in the month, after receipt of news of the victory at Saratoga, France recognized the independence of the American colonies and signed a treaty of alliance with them. The original painting is in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. [A larger version is available for download at Wikipedia.]

This is an encore post.

Yes, this is an encore post. Defeating ignorance takes patience and perseverance.

 

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3 Responses to February 2018, dates to fly the U.S. flag

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Prof. Seitz, you got your stuff well.

    Even Wikipedia has an entry; and what a price St. Eustasius paid!

    On November 16, 1776, Captain Isaiah Robinson of the 14-gun American brig Andrew Doria,[9] sailed into the anchorage below St. Eustatius’ Fort Oranje. Robinson announced his arrival by firing a thirteen gun salute, one gun for each of the thirteen American colonies in rebellion against Britain. Governor Johannes de Graaff replied with an eleven-gun salute from the cannons of Fort Oranje. International protocol required a two gun less acknowledgment of a sovereign flag. The Andrew Doria flew the Continental Colors of the fledgling United States. It was the first international acknowledgment of American independence.[Note 1] The Andrew Doria had arrived to purchase munitions for the American Revolutionary forces. She was also carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence which was presented to Governor De Graaff. An earlier copy had been captured on the way to Holland by the British. It was wrapped in documents that the British believed to be a strange cipher. In reality the documents were written in Yiddish, to Jewish merchants in Holland.

    U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to St. Eustatius in 1939 to recognize the importance of the 1776 “First Salute”. He presented a large brass plaque to St. Eustatius which is displayed today under a flagpole atop the walls of Fort Oranje. President Roosevelt visited the island for 2 hours on February 27, 1939 on the USS Houston. The plaque reads:

    “In commemoration to the salute to the flag of the United States, Fired in this fort November 16. 1776, By order of Johannes de Graaff, Governor of Saint Eustatius, In reply to a National Gun-Salute, Fired by the United States Brig of War Andrew Doria, Under Captain Isaiah Robinson of the Continental Navy, Here the sovereignty of the United States of America was first formally acknowledged to a national vessel by a foreign official. Presented by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States of America”

    The recognition provided the title for Barbara W. Tuchman’s 1988 book The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution.

    The British took the incident seriously. Britain protested bitterly against the continuous trade between the United Colonies and St. Eustatius. In 1778, Lord Stormont claimed in Parliament that, “if Sint Eustatius had sunk into the sea three years before, the United Kingdom would already have dealt with George Washington”. Nearly half of all American Revolutionary military supplies were obtained through St. Eustatius. Nearly all American communications to Europe first passed through the island. The trade between St. Eustatius and the United States was the main reason for the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War,1780-1784. For example, the British Admiral George Brydges Rodney, having occupied the island for Great Britain in 1781, urged the commander of the landing troops, Major-General Sir John Vaughan, to seize “Mr. Smith at the house of Jones – they (the Jews of St. Eustatius, Caribbean Antilles)[10] cannot be too soon taken care of – they are notorious in the cause of America and France.” The war was disastrous for the Dutch economy.

    Britain declared war on the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on December 20, 1780. Even before officially declaring war, Britain had outfitted a massive battle fleet to take and destroy the weapons depot and vital commercial center that St. Eustatius had become. British Admiral George Brydges Rodney was appointed the commander of the battle fleet. February 3, 1781, the massive fleet of 15 ships of the line and numerous smaller ships transporting over 3,000 soldiers appeared before St. Eustatius prepared to invade. Governor De Graaff did not know about the declaration of war. Rodney offered De Graaff a bloodless surrender to his superior force. Rodney had over 1,000 cannon to De Graaff’s one dozen cannon and a garrison of sixty men. De Graaff surrendered the island, but first he fired two rounds as a show of resistance in honor of Dutch Admiral Lodewijk van Bylandt, who commanded a ship of the Dutch Navy which was in the harbor.[5] Ten months later, the island was conquered by the French, allies of the Dutch in the war. The Dutch regained control over the looted and plundered island in 1784.

    Plus, there may be an earlier salute; a footnote on that Wikipedia page:

    The first salute to the Colors may have occurred one month earlier. It is debatable if a Colonial merchantman received a formal salute from Fort Frederik on the Danish island of St Croix (The birth of our Flag page 13 published 1921) and (Americas Library) Translated from the Danish Wikipedia article on Frederiksted “Frederiksted is a town on St Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands which were previously the Danish West Indies. .. The town is dominated by the red and white Fort Frederik from the 1750s. The fort has special meaning to both USA and Denmark-Norway. It was from here that the first foreign salute of recognition of USA independence was given in 1776.”

    Lots of stuff to chase down. Thanks again!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sint_Eustatius

    Like

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    I wonder why the Navy doesn’t seem to know that?

    Thanks! Interesting event to research. What’s your source?

    Like

  3. God bless Admiral deGrasse, but the French salute to the American flag at Quiberon came two years after the Dutch governor at St. Eustasius did the same honor to the American sloop of war Andrew Doria — 19 November 1776.

    Like

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