Friday, June 14, 2019

On Flag Day - Today and Years Past

Parts of this have appeared in some form or other in The Burrow already.

I've always liked Flag Day.  No parades, no speeches, just my flag outside my front door.
This is the weekend, in 2017, when Little Cuter and I helped Gabby celebrate the Commissioning of
the USS Gabrielle Giffords.  

It was a girls' trip to Galveston, a time to feel good about America, sunny days and balmy nights filled with liquid refreshments and many desserts, Jon Bon Jovi and my first experience of Mark Kelly's ability to command a room.

They don't choose just anyone to command a  Space Shuttle, whispered the distinguished gentleman standing behind me in his be-ribboned Navy Whites.
Gabby was gorgeous and happily wind-blown that weekend, leaning against her handsome husband. I know the effort behind each one of the steps she took, from the bow to the stern.  She knew we were watching, and she didn't want to let us down. She marched on, smiling, unwavering, determined.

It's not only the doing which inspires me, it's the attitude : There is no yesterday. There is only tomorrow. Be bold. Be courageous. Be strong.

That she can still believe in America, that her husband is willing to step up to the plate and do something, that helps my heart on Flag Day.
Daddooooo was quite annoyed at the American flag patch on my jeans shorts, back in 1970 or '71. He felt that using the flag to cover my tush was the height of disrespect.

Of course he was right; the Flag Code prohibits such behavior. Then again, it also prohibits all the machinations the NFL puts it through in the name of patriotism. I wonder what he'd say about that.

Back in 2015, though, I wondered how he'd react to soccer fans, with their flag clothes and their flag faces
This year, watching the Stanley Cup and NBA championship series,, I've heard a lot of national anthems, which has gotten me thinking about the The Star Spangled Banner. 

I've never liked it, as music or narrative until Col. Bill's wife sent me a video from Smithsonian Magazine. It told me the story of the very real night when the continuing proof that our flag was still there meant the difference between survival or failure for the fledgling United States of America. 

Listening to retiring St. Louis Blues' Anthemist (yes, that's a job) Charles Glenn tell that story made the hairs on my arm stand at attention.

I'd still rather sing America the Beautiful or God Bless America, but I'm appreciating Francis Scott Key's work just a little bit more these days.
The Smithsonian Channel tried to convince me that Betsy Ross did not design and or sew the American Flag.  

I'm sorry, but NO.  

G'ma and Daddooooo took us to Fredrick, Maryland, where we looked up at her window and imagined the flag going proudly by. 

It certainly felt real to me. I was 9 or 10.

So, can you show me the label?  Do you have a receipt?  Until I can hold the proof in my hand I'm choosing to ignore your reality.

It's my privilege.  I have a flag to wave in case you disagree.

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