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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Today is Flag Day when we commemorate the flags design, 6-14

Just a Thought: Flag Day
By Steve Walker

Recently San Antonio celebrated Memorial Day saluting our Veterans who so gallantly gave their lives in defense of this nation since we became a county.

Today we celebrate Flag Day (June 14th) to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States. It happened on that day in 1777 by a resolution by the Second Continental Congress. Ironically the US Army also celebrates the Army’s birthday on the same date. It was officially named the American Continental Army on that date two years earlier in 1775.

In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. In August of 1949 National Flag Day was established by an act of Congress. It must be noted unlike Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, Flag Day is not an official federal holiday.

This week of June 14th, is also designated as "National Flag Week." During this week the President will issue a proclamation urging Americans citizens to fly the American Flag for the duration of the week.

Some intriguing Flag Day facts:
It is trusted that observing Flag Day in the United States began with an educator in 1885 in Wisconsin. The shades of the American flag are emblematic. The red stands for valor and toughness. Blue stands for equity, tirelessness, and watchfulness. White stands for guiltlessness and virtue.
Individuals some of the time will refer to the American flag as “‘Old Glory.” The term was first utilized by Captain William Driver in 1831. He was a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts and called the flag Old Glory subsequent to being given a flag by companions.
Many local Hispanics have served in the military under the American flag. Three local Hispanics were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their service. Last year President Obama presented two local Hispanic soldiers with the prestigious medal for their bravery in Viet Nam to include Jose Rodela and Santiago Erevia. (the 2 are deceased) It should be noted that the grandfather of News 4 WOAI Reporter Cleto Rodriguez also named Cleto, received the medal for his bravery in WWII.

Many diverse organizations across the country hold parades and events in celebration of America’s National Flag and all that it represents. It is
that special day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag.

It is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation as is said many times by patriots who say, in unison, ”One Nation, under God, Indivisible.” Our flag has a long history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans and it even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.

For many who don’t know, there is actually flag etiquette. There is actually a right way and wrong way to display the flag. Here are the 11 basics on displaying the American Flag. 

1. The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
2. In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously. 
3. The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it. 
4. The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather. 
5. After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half-staff for 30 days.
6. It is called "half-staff" on land, and "half mast," on a ship. 
7. When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field, or "union," is at the top and at the end of the pole. (Away from your house)
8. The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it. 
9. The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
10. Never let your flag touch the ground, never...period.
11. Fold your flag when storing. Don't just stuff it in a drawer or box.
When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.

 Be patriotic and celebrate Flag Day this week. Also wish the Army a Happy Birthday.

And as always, I write “Just a Thought.”

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran, former Journalist and Justice of the Peace.

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