Members of the New York City Fire Department carry 343 U.S. flags honoring the 343 NYFD members killed on 9/11, in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. New York Post caption: “Despite the cold and gray morning, parade-goers turned out for St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate Irish heritage in New York City on March 17, 2014. FDNY members set the pace as they marched down 5th Avenue holding American flags for the annual event. SHANNON STAPLETON/Reuters”
I usually put up a post near the first of the month listing the occasions upon which U.S. laws urge us to fly Old Glory. March sometimes slips by without such a post.
No good reason, other than in most years, March offers no regular national commemorations upon which flag flying is urged. The odd year is when Easter comes early. Easter is one of the holidays the Flag Code says flags should be flown.
But, most years, Easter falls in April, as it does in 2018.
The Flag Code urges residents of states to fly the U.S. flag on the anniversary of their state’s entering the union, on statehood day. Those are the only dates in March, most years. In March, we have four statehood days in the first four days of the month. If I dawdle, we miss most of the dates.
Flag fly dates, for March (some already past, in 2018):
- March 1, Ohio statehood (1803, 17th state)
- March 1, Nebraska statehood (1867, 37th state)
- March 3, Florida (1845, 27th state)
- March 4, Vermont statehood (1791, 14th state)
- March 15, Maine statehood (1820, 23rd state)
Many St. Patrick’s Day revelers and parade marchers display the U.S. flag, but it’s not an official U.S. observance.
I keep hoping, but I get little traction for a law urging flying the flag to observe Freedom Day, on the birth anniversary of the Father of the Constitution, James Madison (he was born March 16, 1751).
People gathered on the lawn of James Madison’s home in Montpelier, Virginia, to display the U.S. flag in a card display, 2011. AP photo?
Much irony, and great history, in the U.S. colors being shown so dramatically on St. Patrick’s Day, a day relatively uncommemorated in Ireland, and commemorated in the U.S. chiefly to help overcome bias against Irish immigrants.
Some irony in the unmarked birthday of the Father of the Constitution.
Sure, you may fly the U.S. flag every day in March. You need not wait for sanction from a Presidential Proclamation or a Congressional Resolution. You may fly the flag every day. (Just follow flag etiquette when you do.)
I’ll try to keep up better, next year. (I said that last year.)
U.S. colors led the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Seattle, Washington, in 2014. Photo from IrishClub.org
U.S. colors stood out in a field of green at the St. Paul, Minnesota, St. Patrick’s Day parade, 2015(?). Photo from VisitStPaul.com.
Yes, this is a bit of an encore post. Defeating ignorance takes patience and perseverance.