Fly your U.S. flag today to honor the victims and heroes of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. The day is designated in U.S. law as National Patriot Day (36 USC § 144).
Fly your U.S. flags today in honor of Labor Day, to honor American labor.
August 1 is Colorado’s statehood day. Unlike many other states, Colorado actually celebrates the day.
More accurately, people of Colorado celebrate the day. It seems most Colorado residents are happy to be there, and take any excuse to celebrate their good fortune.
#ColoradoDay even trended on Twitter for time today.
Under the provisions of the U.S. Flag Code, residents of a state are invited to fly the U.S. flag on their state’s day of statehood. Colorado came into the Union on August 1, at the declaration of President U. S. Grant, in 1876. People of Colorado tend to favor Colorado’s flag for most displays, on Colorado Day.
How are others celebrating? Free admission to Colorado State Parks, for one.
Well, yes, every other state has a statehood day, but don’t look for this effusive outpouring of state pride for many others, including Texas.
New York became a state, historians say, on July 26, 1788, when the Constitution Ratification Convention for the colony approved the U.S. Constitution. Technically the nation did not yet exist, but in flag circles, we use the ratification date as the statehood day for the 18 original states.
Following the guide of the U.S. Flag Code, New Yorkers fly their U.S. flags today in honor of New York’s statehood.
July 4. Surely everyone knows to fly the flag on Independence Day, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.*
In the month of the grand patriotic celebration, what other dates do we fly the U.S. flag? July 4 is the only date designated in the Flag Code for all Americans to fly the flag. Three states joined the union in July, days on which citizens of those states should show the colors, New York, Idaho and Wyoming.
Plus, there is one date many veterans think we should still fly the flag, Korean War Veterans Armistice Day on July 27. Oddly, the law designating that date urges flying the flag only until 2003, the 50th anniversary of the still-standing truce in that war. But the law still exists. What’s a patriot to do?
Patriots may watch to see whether the president issues a proclamation for the date.Generally we don’t note state holidays or state-designated flag-flying events, such as Utah’s Pioneer Day, July 24, which marks the day in 1847 that the Mormon pioneers in the party of Brigham Young exited what is now Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley. But it’s a big day in Utah, where I spent a number of years and still have family. And I still have memories, not all pleasant, of that five-mile march for the Days of ’47 Parade, in that wool, long-sleeved uniform and hat, carrying the Sousaphone. Pardon my partisan exception. Utahns will fly their flags on July 24.
* July 4? But didn’t John Adams say it should be July 2? And, yes, the staff at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub sadly noted that, at the Georgetown, Texas, July 4 parade in 2011 pictured at top, it appears no one saluted the U.S. flag as it passed, as the Flag Code recommends. MFB’s been fighting flag etiquette ignorance since 2006. It’s taking much, much longer than we wished.
Yes, this post is a bit late this year.
On June 20, 1863, West Virginia joined the fractured union as the 35th state.
Yes, that was during the Civil War. Yes, West Virginia had been the northwestern counties of Virginia. No, I’m not sure of the history of how Congress decided Virginia had consented to be divided.
In any case, per the guidelines in the U.S. Flag Code, West Virginians should fly the U.S. flag today in honor of their statehood, 154 years ago. West Virginia no doubt has lots of celebrations, reenactments, and general festive events planned.
Sunday I had a visit with a fellow who was born in western Virginia, went to school at Virginia Tech, and knew the New River geography (which was how we got into the conversation). He said the New River emptied into a river whose name he could never pronounce. Took a few minutes to realize he meant the Kanawha River, shown in the photo above. Pronouncing the river, and the county correctly is an interesting exercise. We once thought about living along the Kanawha, and I appreciated the frustration of our Virginia friend.
It’s usually pronounced in two syllables, ka-NAH; when locals have more time for a slower-paced conversation, it may become ka-NAH-uh — but they’ll look at you funny if they hear a “w” in your pronunciation. (Your mileage may vary; tell about it in comments.)
Kathryn and I have a few fond memories of Charleston on the banks of the Kanawha River. Then-West Virginia Attorney General Charlie Brown was one of the few with enough wisdom to offer me a job, when I graduated from the National Law Center at George Washington University as an older student. Brown promised to clean up West Virginia politics, and he had a lively, very young crew of attorneys fighting coal companies, oil companies, loggers, shady real estate people, and corrupt city, county and state officials. One fellow in the office complained that he’d “had to argue eight cases” at the State Supreme Court that year, in his first year out of law school.
But the corrupt officials knew what they were doing. Brown could only offer $25,000 a year, and in Charleston it was unlikely we’d be able to find any work for Kathryn. Tough to attract crime fighters at less-than crime-fighting rates. It would have been a more than 75% cut in income. We made a trip there to mull it over, baby on the way (pre-digital photographs buried in the archives). Brown got a special dispensation to offer me $5,000 more.
Great tour of the Capitol, great interviews with the office lawyers. Kathryn and I sat for a long while in the deserted West Virginia Supreme Court (sort of tucked into an attic of the Capitol) discussing how in the world we could afford to move the Charleston and take on the work. We drove around the city, looking at houses for sale and rent; we gazed at the Kanawha River and discussed the future for the city.
We went to dinner in a tiny restaurant touted as Charleston’s finest, which was a long way from good eateries in D.C. We discussed with our host the cultural pickings in Charleston. We could give up the symphony but get back to fishing and practice fly fishing . . .
A few tables over, the maitre ‘d brought in a few extra chairs, and then seated Muhammad Ali and his party. Our waiter asked that we not make a scene.
I don’t remember for what charitable purpose Ali was in Charleston, but the event was over and his hosts took him out to the good restaurant in Charleston, too.
Ali was a slower, sedate and gentle version of the fiery fighter he’d been. Parkinson’s disease already had him in its grip. His voice, soft as it could be at times, was still strong enough to carry across a table. There was a young boy with the group, under five years old. Ali had lost steps, but not spirit. He produced a couple of balls from a pocket and proceeded to dazzle the kid with sleight-of-hand magic tricks. He picked one of the balls from behind the kid’s ear, and the kid giggled wonderfully. Balls appeared here, disappeared there — I remember thinking how much easier those tricks could be with hands that big; but Ali also had difficulty dealing with a knife and fork. Working magic tricks pulled years away from Ali, and he seemed much younger, much more deft than he really was. The little boy laughed and giggled through the meal. It was a happy affair.
Our dinners finished about the same time. As we got up, Ali looked over at us and said, “You wonder why I spend so much time with children? They are the future.”
I turned down the offer from West Virginia. A job I’d hoped for at American Airlines fell through, but a position opened up at the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) at Bill Bennett’s Department of Education. A year or so later I saw small item in the Washington Post that Charlie Brown had been indicted on some charge. Coal companies still have a lot of clout in West Virginia.
This is an anniversary day for Ali, too: June 20, 1967, Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston, Texas, of evading the draft. That conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Fly those flags in West Virginia.
You’ve got your flag flying for Flag Day, right?
Flag Day is one of the least holiday-ish commemorative days on the U.S. calendar. I doubt anyone gets the day off. There are a few scheduled events, maybe a flag-raising, or a fly over.
Most of us go to work, we note a few more flags flying. That’s it.
Some newspapers and other news outlets take the opportunity to tell us flag history, or flag etiquette. Mostly Flag Day is a day for people say hurray for the flag!
That’s not bad.
What are other people doing and saying (beyond the other tragedies of the day)?
One of my favorite pictures from Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home. The flag is on a temporary pole — the view from the cupola is fantastic, but few ever get to see it.
How do you provide real, courtroom-worthy evidence that the Moon landings by Apollo really happened, that they were not hoaxes? You show the prints on the Moon. You show the flag that is still there:
Oh, that NASA History post: