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Flag Day – June 14, 2020

President Calvin Coolidge spoke of the US Flag with these words. “We Identify the flag with almost everything we hold dear on earth, peace, security, liberty, our family, our friends, our home…But when we look at our flag and behold it emblazoned with all our rights we remember that it is equally a symbol of our duties. Every glory that we associate with it is the result of duty done. ”

What we know fondly as the “Stars and Stripes” was adopted by the Continental Congress as the official American flag on June 14, 1777, in the midst of the Revolutionary War. Colonial troops fought under many different flags with various symbols—rattlesnakes, pine trees, and eagles—and slogans—”Don’t Tread on Me,” “Liberty or Death,” and “Conquer or Die,” to name a few.

Flag Day (United States) - Wikipedia

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress took a break from writing the Articles of Confederation, and a flag was the fifth item on the agenda that day.

Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.

The Continental Congress left no record as to why it chose these colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Articles of Confederation chose the colors for the Great Seal of the United States with these meanings:

  • white for purity and innocence
  • red for valor and hardiness
  • blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice

Living flag, 1911

These children, dressed in different shades of clothing, posed to represent the U.S. flag, becoming a “Living flag” in 1911

One of the first celebrations of our flag was in Hartford, Conn. during the summer of 1861. In the late 1800s, schools all over the United States held Flag Day programs to contribute to the Americanization of immigrant children, and the observance caught on with individual communities.

Flag Day 2020: Why we celebrate on June 14

In Waubeka, Wisconsin, nineteen year old Bernard J. Cigrand placed a 10” 38-star flag in an inkwell on his desk at the front of his one room classroom.  He prompted his students to write an essay about what the flag meant to them, referring to that day, June 14, as the flag’s birthday.

A little over three decades later in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14th as National Flag Day.  President Wilson proclaimed, “The Flag has vindicated its right to be honored by all nations of the world and feared by none who do righteousness.”  On August 3, 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress recognizing the holiday of Flag Day and encouraging Americans to celebrate it.

On June 14, 2004, 108th U.S. Congress unanimously voted on H.R. 662 declaring Flag Day originated in Waubeka, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.

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Inspired by decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Harry Truman

Star Spangled Banner

Above is the original “Star-Spangled Banner” that inspired Francis Scott Key’s poem. It was moved from Fort McHenry in 1874 and displayed at the Boston Navy Yard until 1907, and has been at the Smithsonian Institution ever since.

Flag Day is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, its designers and makers. Our flag is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation…..one nation, under God, indivisible. Our flag has a proud and glorious history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans. Many people have died protecting it. It even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.

The American Flag is lovingly referred to by other names, including:

  • Old Glory
  • Stars and Stripes
  • The Red, White and Blue

As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. So raise the flag on June 14 and every day with pride!

Findlay Residents Urged To Celebrate Flag Day - WKXA

I am the flag of the United States of America.

I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I stand side by side with the Maple Leaf on
the worlds’ longest undefended border.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners,
my head is a little higher,
my colors a little truer.

I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped — I am saluted.
I am loved — I am revered.
I am respected — and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war
for more then 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomattox.
I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy.
Guam, Okinawa, Korea and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me,
I was there.

I led my troops, I was dirty, battle worn and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me And I was proud.
I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of
countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt,
for I am invincible.

I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled on
the streets of my country. And when it’s by those whom
I’ve served in battle — it hurts.
But I shall overcome — for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over
the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness to all of America’s finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.

When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded
comrades on the battlefield, When I am flown at
half-mast to honor my soldier, Or when I lie in the
trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their
fallen son or daughter, I am proud.

MY NAME IS OLD GLORY. LONG MAY I WAVE.

by Howard Schnauber

Honor Flight Upstate: October 27, 2016

HFU Online Post pic

 

On October 27, 2016, several hundred men, women, and children greeted the Honor Flight Upstate in Greenville/Spartanburg Airport. Cub scouts, marines, police men and women stood and sat to wait for the World War II veterans to return from their trip to Washington, DC.

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These kids performed for our veterans as they prepared to leave Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport for their trip. #fetegreenville

Honor Flight Upstate SC is a non-profit, volunteer-based program that is dedicated to honoring some of our veterans for the sacrifices they have made to keep our nation safe and our people free.

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They shows their honor and support to these heroes by offering a program that flies World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington, DC, to see the memorials built in their honor, and to experience recognition for their service that literally saved the world.

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Volunteers are assigned to each participant; the volunteers pay and train for this privilege. If selected as a guardian for a specific Honor Flight,  duties include assisting veterans at the airport, onto and off of the plane, navigating steps at the memorials, making sure they stay safe and have everything they need in order to enjoy their trip. Guardians are responsible for paying their own way for the trip, which at this time is $400 per guardian – a small price to pay to spend an unforgettable day with members of our Greatest Generation!

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With veterans dying at astonishing rates each day, time is of the essence. Support is needed from those who will volunteer their time, guardians who are willing to pay their own way to travel with and assist the veterans, and donors who will help provide the funding for the veterans as these trips are completely free to our WWII and Korean War veterans. Honor Flight Upstate SC has flown over 1200 veterans to Washington, DC since May, 2008. $600 is the amount needed to pay for an individual’s trip.

Their first stop in Washington is at the World War II monument, and next is the Korean War Memorial. Their chartered buses then travel to Arlington National Cemetery where they view the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

HFU Pic Arlington

 

Following this, they go to the Marine Corps Memorial and the Air Force Memorial before they return to Reagan Airport.

These veterans were met with cheers, waving flags, balloons, handshakes, and hugs. Here us a video of a few minutes of celebration.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=cathie%20childers%20cheatham

My dad served in the Army during World War II. On this evening, we waited to see a friend of his return from this trip to Washington back to Spartanburg. Some of the Greatest Generation were in wheelchairs; others walked on their own steam. The stars of this event wore blue T shirts, and we shouted “Welcome Home” and “Thank You” to the top of our lungs. Smiles were on all the faces there.

In the crowd from the Daniel Morgan Chapter SAR were three men dressed in Colonial clothes, representing the first veterans in our country. As I watched them salute and stand at attention when the National Anthem was played, it touched my heart. Whether a descendant of a patriot who fought during the Revolutionary War or a veteran of a twentieth century war, we know that freedom is not free. Honoring those who have fought for our country must continue, because we are here because they fought.

As President Harry Truman said, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

Thank you for your service!