Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day -The Most Under Celebrated U.S. Holiday

My immigrant grandparents, John and Mary Koss, are the only people I have ever known that celebrated Flag Day.  As a child, I remember my Gramps assembling the flag kit and proudly placing it in our front yard, which faced Route 6 in Gary, Indiana, on every patriotic holiday.
The pic above is taken from an old 35mm film that my husband had converted to DVD.  I'm on the left in my tennis outfit.  I never did learn to play tennis well but I definitely kept the custom of celebrating Flag Day.

We'd cook hotdogs on a small portable grill, accompanied by my grandmother's Croatian style potato salad (which is sort of like German potato salad using oil and vinegar instead of a mayonnaise base but it's served hot).   My mom would bake a cake, frost it with white icing and decorate with blueberries and strawberries for the stripes and banana slices dipped in lemon for the stars.
I can't decide why Flag Day is so under celebrated.  Maybe it's because it falls right after school has ended and people are on vacation.  Or maybe because it's sandwiched in between Memorial Day and Independence Day.  Perhaps it's because Father's Day is right around the corner.  My best guess is because Flag Day is not an official federal holiday.  Although Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Flag Day in 1916, Congress didn't approve it until 1949. Seriously, it took 33 years to approve this holiday.
I am going to continue to celebrate the day and our symbol of freedom. Here's a few links about our flag and the interesting genealogy of the people who are part of its history:
The Legend of Betsy Ross http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Ross
The Star Spangled Banner and Mary Young Pickersgill  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Young_Pickersgill
Driver's Old Glory http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-the-flag-came-to-be-called-old-glory-18396/?no-ist
For my readers in countries other than the U.S. - I challenge you to proudly wave your country's flag today and think about the values it represents.  Happy Flag Day!


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