No one really celebrates Flag Day any more. I don’t think the world should stop moving, or we should add on yet another reason to have a mattress or used car sale, but I think we take the flag for granted now-a-days. We don’t associate our flag with the honor of it’s history and the symbol of freedom and equality as we should. We aren’t perfect. The US has it’s issues but we do have basic freedoms and those are our rights. That’s pretty great when you consider the alternatives. The flag lost it’s value, maybe we over-used it. You can buy American flag blankets, table clothes, shoes, and sun glasses… there’re even American Flag Speedos but I beg every man to pass on that look, please. I think we’ve blinded ourselves to the flag instead of respecting it. We take it for granted because we’ve over commercialized it.
I’d probably be just like everyone else if it weren’t for my Father. One of the few good things I associate with him is his love of this country. I’ll probably write a tribute to fatherhood tomorrow. I’m sure someone won’t like it, but that’s their problem just like it was after my tribute to dear old Mom. It wouldn’t be fair to not give his his good points and his love of this country is a very good thing.
My Father respected the flag. He went far from home and fought with it as a symbol of what was important to him. His love of this country is also the reason I will always revere our Veterans and I will always cast my vote.
We always flew a flag on our house. He put it up most mornings and took it down at night. If it got tattered and old he took it in to be destroyed with dignity and respect. If we were at the cottage, he flew a flag. And I know that today, on his house, he’s flying a flag. It’s the one we took all over this country. Every summer we took our dysfunction on the road and went off with a trailer attached to the station wagon. You know the stereotypical tourist couple? meet my folks.
We’d hit campgrounds and friend’s driveways from coast to coast and if we were parked for a day the flag was in it’s holder. It seemed natural to us. In all those years and all those places no one ever harmed or took our flags. A year or two back I found the trailer flag in a box of things I snagged from the cottage. I sent it to Dad for a chuckle and he decided to start using it. I don’t know who will last longer, my Dad or that flag but as long as he can I guarantee that he’ll fly it as long as he can. It’s part of who he is. He never talks about war. He did, however, give my younger son his medals a few years back. And I got a bracelet of coins he made for his mother. This is the second time recently I’ve thought of it. That’s odd.
I know he hated fighting but we don’t know much more than that. I think it’s pretty great that after that his love of this country never faltered. And the flag is his way of showing it.
Most of us now, myself included, look right through the flag. We fly one today if we have one. I don’t, mine bit it a couple years ago and I keep meaning to replace it but it always slips my mind. It makes me feel a little better to know my Dad’s got it covered. It’s something I need to work on I think.
Happy Flag day. As you blow out your Flag day candles and exchange your Flag Day gifts I hope you consider what Flag Day really is and how lucky we really are. I know it will cross my mind too.