Flag Day in the USA

Although June 14 is not officially a national holiday, it is an important day for Americans. Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the stars and stripes as the flag of the United States by the Continental Congress in 1777.

We acknowledge the importance of the flag in many and varied ways: From patriotic music that we hear and enjoy to the stamps we buy at the post office. From the books and movies that are available at the local library. From the nicknames for the flag that include the Stars and Stripes and Old Glory.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac (available on the Internet) contains a summary of American flag rules, etiquette, and guidelines for those who fly the flag and for those who want to learn more about the correct way to do so.

There are also books about the flag for both young and mature readers. One that captures perhaps the most famous moment in military history is Flags of Our Fathers, published in 2000. The book tells the story of the U. S. Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima during World War II.

The film adaptation in 2006, like the book, symbolizes the sacrifice and courage of American men and women who fought to preserve our freedom. The movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Steven Spielberg.

For more than a century, “You’re a Grand Old Flag” has been a favorite American patriotic march tune. It was written in 1906 by George M. Cohan. A few years later, singer Kate Smith popularized her version of “God Bless America.”

In 1984 Lee Greenwood introduced “God Bless the USA,” and he and the song have become part of the American music scene with lasting popularity. More recently Kid Rock’s “Born Free” can be counted among another generation of patriotic songs.

And still at the top of the list perhaps for all generations has been “The Star-Spangled Banner,” our national anthem.

Flag Day in the USA is an especially good day to dig out a few of your favorites patriotic songs, read a new book or re-read an old one, or check out a patriotic movie from your library. Use your American Flag stamps to mail a letter or card to family or friends. And, fly the flag. It’s your day.