The American flag – with its stars and bars – was adopted on June 14, 1777, and that’s why today is Flag Day.
Despite sporadic celebrations during the 19th century, Flag Day didn’t become official until Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916. It hasn’t ever been a federally observed holiday, although it is a state holiday in Pennsylvania.
It’s kind of a quiet celebration – there isn’t much more involved than hanging out a flag, but for some reason, the flag itself prompts strong feelings in lots of people.
Apparently you can count Theodore Roosevelt among them – on June 14, 1908, he was having dinner outside Philadelphia, when he saw a man wiping his nose on what looked like a small American flag. Outraged, Roosevelt picked up a handy wooden dowel and began to beat the fellow for “defacing the symbol of America.”
After about five or six strong whacks, he noticed that the man was not wiping his nose with a flag, but with a blue handkerchief with white stars. Upon realization of this, he apologized to the man, but hit him once more for making him “riled up with national pride.’
Keep an eye out for the excessively patriotic today.
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Today’s birthday of note is. . .this blog’s! A year ago it staggered to its feet and after a few days got under way. Forty thousand views and 292 entries later, it’s still ambulatory – many thanks to friends and subscribers and all of those who are looking for a good picture of the Marquis de Lafayette.
We shall keep calm and carry on.