In tribute to the Stars & Stripes on this Independence Day

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    Jul 04, 2009 1:17 PM GMT
    The US flag comes out everywhere on the Fourth of July, but it never really goes away. Americans are the most flag-waving people on Earth, and if you've traveled around the world you know this is true. During the celebrations following World War One, US President Woodrow Wilson marched in a victory parade in the streets of Paris, and Europeans were astonished to see him personally carrying an American flag.

    In the US we stick our flag on everything, fly it from everywhere, use it for every occasion, display it in every public place and even near the altar in churches. You do know the rest of the world doesn't do that to such an extent? Why, and what does it mean?

    Prior to the creation of the United States of America, the state belonged to the sovereign, and the people were subjects. The national flag was really the king's banner, a practice going back to European feudal times, and Asian countries like Japan & China had similar customs until the modern era.

    The British were among the first to create a truly national flag, when the kingdoms of England and Scotland were unified. But still, that flag belonged to the state, not to the people themselves, who remained subjects under that banner.

    The United States established the modern concept that the state was the expression of the people themselves, and their flag represented them, not a monarch. That difference has been mythically portrayed by the legend of George Washington asking Betsy Ross to create a home-spun flag that represented democratic ideals, not royal heraldry.

    And so the flag of the USA has always been seen as the property of the people, their own personal banner and not the exclusive trademark of some remote state structure ruling over them. True, in the modern world our once simple government has gotten more distant and more inaccessible at times, but the ideal of a people's democracy lives on in our flag.

    You'll see that flag many more times today. And when you do, remember that only Americans honor their flag so, and why that is.
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    Jul 04, 2009 9:53 PM GMT
    Thanks for the flag history lesson!


    PRIDE

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    and


    GLORY


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  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 05, 2009 4:09 AM GMT
    Well, flags still fly, but I really remember how the abundance of flags went away with the Christmas decorations in 2001.

    And also, Flag day is June 14th.
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    Jul 05, 2009 6:01 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidWell, flags still fly, but I really remember how the abundance of flags went away with the Christmas decorations in 2001.

    And also, Flag day is June 14th.

    I know Flag Day, but July Fourth is when flags are also seen a great deal, probably even more so, and Independence Day was the holiday being mentioned here at the moment. And that's why I started this thread.

    As for post-911, which I take to be your meaning, the flags may have diminished since then, but their display immediately after that attack was unprecedented in recent times, perhaps on a par with Pearl Harbor. The tendency is always to eventually return to the cultural norm, which I contend in the US involves the flag more than in any other country.
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    Jul 05, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    Well done, Red!!! Mine has been flying SINCE Flag Day. My Saints flag will go up next weekicon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 05, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    Luckydog76 saidWell done, Red!!! Mine has been flying SINCE Flag Day. My Saints flag will go up next weekicon_biggrin.gif

    Thank you! Though of course I assume everyone knows I'm merely a stickler on historical facts, and in no way critical of someone like our great coolarmydude, nobly serving our country in uniform at this moment. I respect him without reservation for his brave & honorable duty.

    Let me tell you a story about the US flag, which came to mind today when I was watching a History Channel TV feature about the US gold depository at Fort Know, Kentucky, of all things.

    I was stationed at Fort Knox, from 1969 until 1971. And not mentioned in the History Channel piece was that along the same road that leads to the depository, when I was there, was the Post Stockade for military prisoners.

    I used to drive by there all the time, in my car or on my Harley, and a fellow sergeant told me one day that the prisoners had to assemble every morning and late afternoon, for Reveille and Retreat, the 2 times a day when the US flag is raised & lowered. And he told me that convicted soldiers were prohibited from saluting the flag, being required to merely stand in formation at attention, as the stockade flag was raised or lowered.

    PROHIBITED? I had always found the mandatory requirement to salute just one more military hassle to deal with. But now I learned it was a PRIVILEGE, that disgraced soldiers could not enjoy.

    I had to think about that one, and from that day forward I saluted our flag with renewed pride & honor. And now as a civilian, I miss the special privilege of saluting in uniform when the flag is raised, or when the US National Anthem is played, which our coolarmydude can still enjoy and deserves.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 05, 2009 6:55 PM GMT
    I recently bought a KIA flag to fly along with the POW/MIA flag for Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.

    I keep putting off getting an Acadian flag for my heritage. I also need to get a Saints flag. And you best believe that I fly my 2007 National Champs LSU banner in the Fall.


    I have been flying the American flag for a long time, even before 9/11. I also flew it while stationed in Korea for two years and I slept under it in Afghanistan as it hung from the ceiling above my bed.