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Flag Day

 

FLAG DAY

I Am Still The Same Old Flag

Hello, remember me? Some people call me Old Glory,
others call me Stars and Stripes;
I have been referred to as the Star Spangled Banner.
But whatever they call me,
I am your Flag, or as I proudly state
....the Flag of the United States of America.

There is something that has been bothering me,
so I thought I might talk it over with you....
because it's about you and me.
I remember some time ago, I think it was Memorial Day,
people were lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade.
The town's high school band was behind me,
and naturally, I was leading the parade.
When your Daddy saw me coming along, waving in the breeze,
he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder
so that his right hand was directly over his heart. Remember?
And you, Yes, I remember you.
Standing there straight as a soldier.
You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the correct salute.
They taught you in school to place your right hand over your heart.
Remember little sister? Not to be outdone,
she was saluting the same as you.
Oh, I was very proud as I came down your street.

There were some soldiers home on leave
and they were standing at attention giving their military salute.
Also, some V.F.W. veterans with their caps at jaunty angles were saluting smartly.
Ladies as well as men, paid me the reverence I deserve.
Now, I may sound a little conceited.
Well, I am. I have a right to be,
because I represent the finest country in the world....
the United States of America.
More than one aggressive nation has tried to haul me down,
but they all felt the fury of this freedom loving country.
Remember...many of you had to go overseas to defend me.

What has happened? I'm still the same old Flag.
Oh, I've had a couple more stars added since you were a boy.
A lot more blood has been shed since that Memorial Day parade long ago.
Dad is gone now, The home town has a new look.

The last time I came down your street,
I saw that some of the old landmarks were gone,
but in their place, shinning majestically in the sun,
were a number of new buildings and homes.
Yes sir, the old home town has changed.

But now....I don't feel as proud as I used to.
When I came down your street, you just stand there
with your hands in your pockets and give me a small glance,
then look or turn away.

When I think of all the places I've been...
Ansio, Guadalcanal, Battle of the Bulge, Korea, and Vietnam
I wonder what's happened? I'm still the same old Flag.

But now I see children running around and shouting as I pass by.
They don't seem to know who I am.
I saw an old man take his hat off, and then look around.
He didn't see anybody else with theirs off,
so he quickly put his back on.
Is it a sin to be an American anymore?

Have you forgotten what I stand for?
Have you forgotten all the battlefields where men fought
and died to keep this nation, your nation, free?
When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Take a look at the Memorial Honor Rolls sometime.
Look at the names of those who never came back,
and are resting 'neath white crosses on a far away shore.

Some of them were friends or relatives of yours,
maybe even went to school with you.
That's who you're saluting....when you revere me.
Well, it won't be long until I come down your street again.
So when you see me, stand straight,
place your hand over your heart,
and you'll see me waving back.
My salute to you, I'll show you that I too, remember!


...Author Unknown

On September 8,1892, the Boston based "The Youth's Companion" magazine published a few words for students to repeat on Columbus Day that year. Written by Francis Bellamy,the circulation manager and native of Rome, New York, and reprinted on thousands of leaflets, was sent out to public schools across the country. On October 12, 1892, the quadricentennial of Columbus' arrival, more than 12 million children recited the Pledge of Allegiance, thus beginning a required school-day ritual.

At the first National Flag Conference in Washington D.C., on June14, 1923, a change was made. For clarity, the words "the Flag of the United States" replaced "my flag". In the following years various other changes were suggested but were never formally adopted.

It was not until 1942 that Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance. One year later, in June 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite it. In fact,today only half of our fifty states have laws that encourage the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom!

In June of 1954 an amendment was made to add the words "under God". Then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower said "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

From: http://www.usflag.org/the.pledge.of.allegiance.html

June 26, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is an unconstitutional "endorsement of religion" because of the addition of the phrase "under God" in 1954 by Congress.

A three-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case to a lower court. If allowed to stand, the ruling would apply to schools in the nine states covered by the 9th Circuit.

The defendants -- the federal and state governments and the local school board -- also have the option of appealing the ruling to the full appeals court or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Attorney John K. Vincent said his office was "reviewing the 9th Circuit's decision."

"We will consult with the Department of Justice in Washington concerning our options in overturning this decision," he said.

The U.S. Senate was so outraged by the decision that it passed a resolution 99-0 "expressing support for the Pledge of Allegiance" and asking Senate counsel to "seek to intervene in the case."

UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Flag Day Foundation   

For a Complete History of our flag, how to display and respect it:
this site is the place to go. It also includes pictures of past American Flags:
The Flag of the United States of America

Stories behind the holidays, lots of interesting facts:
Care And Display of the Flag

Fantastic Site for Flag History - AND -
Nearly Every Historical Document in U.S. History:
Oklahoma University Law School

The Star Spangled Banner - Francis Scott Key

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

 

Star Spangled Banner Preservation Project

WHY THE AMERICAN FLAG IS FOLDED 13 TIMES

 

Have you ever noticed on TV or at military funerals that the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times?

 

 I've known how the 21 gun salute was determined (adding the individual digits of 1776), but only recently learned why the flag was folded 13 times when it is lowered or when it is folded and handed to the widow at the burial of a veteran.

 

Here it is:

 

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

 

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

 

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran separating our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

 

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

 

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

 

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we 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.

 

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

 

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.

 

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

 

The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

 

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 

 The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust."

 

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us

the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

 

There are some traditions and ways of doing things which have deep meaning.  You will see many flags folded in the coming weeks, and now you will

know why.

 

May God Bless Us All and especially our Armed Forces!!