I love America. Our freedoms, our rights, our food…it is all amazing. But most of all, I love our flag. It would be safe to say if I could be the crazy lady in American flag outfits every day, I would be. The red, white and blue, the stars and stripes: it is great.
As you may or may not know, there is a holiday just for the United States flag. Flag Day is celebrated June 14 and commemorates the day the flag was authorized by congress.
According to The National Flag Day Foundation website, Bernard John Cigrand, a 19-year-old teacher in Waubeka, Wisconson, encouraged students to find personal meaning in the flag and celebrate the “flag’s birthday.” Due to Cigrand’s work, President Wilson issued a proclamation on May 30, 1916, calling for a nation-wide observance of Flag Day.
The Red Cross’ own founder, Clara Barton, held great respect for the flag. During her service in the Civil War, Barton helped raise the U.S. flag over the Andersonville grounds where she helped establish a national cemetery.
The origins of the Red Cross and Barton’s work are still visible today. The Red Cross serves those who fight to protect our flag and what it represents. Through a variety of facets, including linking military families during emergencies, providing resiliency training, and supporting wounded warriors and military hospitals, the Red Cross works to help those that serve the United States.
Today, the flag is as strong of a symbol for America as ever before. Many aspects of etiquette to protect the flag come with such a well-respected symbol. The following tips will help you display your flag with pride during upcoming holidays:
- The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
- The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
- The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
- The flag should never be used for receiving, holding carrying or delivering anything.
- When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms.
(Source: USA Flag Site)
As American summer holidays near and you fire up the grill and jump in the pool, safely, of course, take a moment to reflect on what our flag means to you. Display the flag proudly and have a great Flag Day!
For more information on Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces, visit RedCross.org.