Sunday, June 14 is Flag Day. Flag Day has been around since the 1880s but it was not until 1949 that President Truman declared June 14th to be the official day of commemoration and celebration.
The Stars and Stripes was officially adopted as our national banner by Congress in 1777.
We have added 37 more stars to the blue field since the original 13 stars that represented the original 13 colonies.
Looking at the flag proudly waving atop a flagpole brings back many memories.
When I was a boy I served on the School Safety Patrol. We wore red jackets with white Sam Browne belts and bright yellow garrison caps trimmed in blue. We had badges that signified rank. Later in the interests of safety we traded our smart looking caps for white plastic helmets.
It was student run and there was usually an older boy in charge as the captain.
We manned the crosswalks and helped our fellow students get to school safely.
Nowadays it seems safety in schools is governed by armed cops and metal detectors.
We had to get to school early and leave a little later after we completed our duties.
And one of those duties was raising the flag in the morning and lowering and folding it properly at the end of the school day.
I was reminded of this recently when I passed by a school and watched as a janitor lowered the flag and stuffed it in a box with no thought to the callous way he was treating Old Glory.
But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given how patriotism and love of country are now viewed as old fashioned and not in step with the times.
Instead of learning respect for the flag and learning to care for it, young people are now posting pictures of themselves on social media standing on the flag and uttering some anti-American cattle crap no doubt learned from their Baby Boomer teachers who perfected flag burning during the Vietnam War.
When I look at the flag I am reminded of the six men who attached the flag to length of pipe and then raised it over Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima in 1945.
The raising of that flag drew shouts and cheers from the sailors and Marines and blasts from the horns of the ships anchored offshore. And while the battle would last for weeks it gave confidence that victory would come.
When I look at the flag I remember July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted her on the moon.
When he stepped onto the lunar surface Astronaut Armstrong said, “One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind”. He didn’t claim the moon for America but for the whole world.
When I look at the flag and see it tightly secured to the coffin of a U.S serviceman or woman who gave their last full measure of devotion to that flag I wonder if anybody outside the person’s family, friends and community even cares or are they too busy with the petty and trivial world of pop culture and celebrity.
And when I look at the flag outside my house I am reminded that I am a citizen of the greatest country on earth warts and all and that nobody can tell me to take it down-at least not without a fight!
So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week. I think you all know it:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,
And to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God indivisible with
Liberty and justice for all.
I think that says it all.
Happy Flag Day and May God continue to bless and watch over the United States of America.
Patrick Dorinson is a radio talk show host and commentator who goes by the name”The Cowboy Libertarian.”