Flag Day should be embraced today

Today is Flag Day. Our fine nation should be awash in red, white and blue. That is because Flag Day deserves the respect of each and every one of us. Flag Day doesn’t carry the same holiday weekend/day off/let’s golf, barbecue and party reputation that its summertime counterparts like Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day do. But as free American citizens we should all pause today and acknowledge the significance that our flag represents.

Ten of thousands of American have fought for and sacrificed – some with their very lives – to preserve the American way of freedom and democracy. Our flag represents fairness to all of its citizens. It represents opportunities for all of its citizens. Ask someone in a communist, socialist or third world country if they would embrace a flag day that represented the kind of personal liberties and choices that we have. And, sadly, take for granted so often it seems by so many Americans. If you are in a need of a strong dose of humility, just go visit a local cemetery where hundreds of flags have been placed since Memorial Day on the graves of veterans.

Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States. That happened on June 14 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially establishing June 14 as Flag Day. That was in 1916. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday but should be treated like one. Pennsylvania became the first and only state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday. Ohioans and the good citizens in our own area will certainly have their flags out today on what promises to be a fine weather day to serve as a backdrop.

We should all have at least the basics regarding flag etiquette. Part of the includes a respectful disposal of worn flags. Those needing to properly dispose flags can do at two area locations. The Sebring American Legion is collecting worn flags with a deadline of 5 p.m. today. At 6 p.m. a flag burning ceremony is scheduled. On Saturday, the Damascus Ruritan Club is holding a flag retirement ceremony at 1 p.m. at the Damascus Community Center. Old and tattered flags are being accepted at the Damascus post office and Damascus Hardware.

Our flag represents so much that makes up the very fabric of our American way. Foremost is our democratic nation with the individual freedoms it represents. Never forget that. Especially on this special day. Let’s all give a heartfelt salute to Old Glory.