June 14, 2009, - 11:04 am
By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
It’s Flag Day, Today. And whether or not you believe the whole Betsy Ross story is true, what counts is what our flag stands for. It stands for America, for freedom, and for the men who died so we could have it and continue to have it.
My favorite flag story, this year, is the story of Jeff Olsen, a tremendously patriotic Chicago area trash collector who, out of his own sense of patriotism, voluntarily rescues hundreds of damaged and/or discarded American flags which were improperly discarded. Since 2005, he’s saved more than 250 flags. For his patriotic efforts, he was honored by the American Legion.
As any avid patriot knows, damaged flags aren’t supposed to be thrown out in the garbage. They’re supposed to be disposed of in a dignified way (usually burning)–as specified in the US Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Sec. 8(k). This is usually done by your local American Legion Post. (More info at the USA Flag Site.)
Here’s part of my Flag Day entry from 2006:
Happy Flag Day, America! Proudly, we have the most beautiful flag of any nation in the world. Our flag has been through a lot, but it is still waving strong and free. . . .
Here are some interesting facts about the old Red, White and Blue:
* The flag was adopted by the U.S. as our official flag on June 14, 1777 by the Second Continental Congress.
* George Washington originally wanted six-pointed stars (like the Jewish Star) on the flag. But Betsy Ross convinced him to go with the five-pointed stars, according to the Detroit Free Press.
* Wearing the flag (like this jerk, below) is a violation of U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8(d), which states:
The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.
Got that, Kid Rock?
Here are two of my favorite pictures of the flag:
Iwo Jima, 1945
World Trade Center, Post 9/11 Attack, 2001
Happy Flag Day. Forever May You Wave.
**** UPDATE: Reader OldScouter wanted me to let you know that most Boy Scout Troops will also accept flags for proper disposal.