June 14, 2009, - 11:04 am

Happy Flag Day, America! Forever May It Wave

By Debbie Schlussel
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.

8 Responses

Thanks to Debbie for reminding us about Flag Day. Here’s another informative article about “The Red, White, and Blue”:

ramjordan on June 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Miss Schlussel, Et Ali:
Today is also the Two Hundredth and Thirty-Fourth Birthday of the United States Army.
Here is the URL for the official web site:
On 14 June 1775, the Continental Congress authorized George Washington to raise a body of regular troops.
Also, I posted a birthday greeting on my blog, “OUR ETERNAL STRUGGLE”.
Here at the Old Soldiers’ Home, we celebrated the Army’s birthday on Friday 12 June 2009, because the staff doesn’t work on weekends.
Thank you.
John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

writesong on June 14, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Do you remember when the captain of the cargo ship, “MAERSK ALABAMA”, was rescued from the Somali pirates?
Here is the URL for a message, accompanied by photographs, I posted on my blog, OUR ETERNAL STRUGGLE, on 12 April 2009:
And, yes, I remember Kid Rock pulling that stunt at the Super Bowl, and at the time, I commented on it.
Thank you.
John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

writesong on June 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

oh I love those pics you posted-Happy flag day

mindy1 on June 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Thanks a million times a million, Debbie !! Three Cheers for The Red, White and Blue !! “…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863.

Roads Skolar on June 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Thanks for the column on Flag Day.
Information for your readers. As a longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts, please let folks know that most Scout Troops will accept damaged or worn flags. If the Troop does not have regular retirement ceremonies, most Councils conduct them during summer camps. Whether done by the Troop, or at a District or Council level, the retirement ceremonies are conducted with dignity and in accordance with proper procedures. VFW and American Legion Posts will also retire flags in an appropriate manner.

OldScouter on June 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Great post. The video also reminds us he is one of those Americans doing “a job Americans wont do”. Literally and figuratively. I am always amazed how some people think they are too good to do some work. Especially in California. They would rather bitch and complain about not getting the job they want and collect an unemployment check. Do a honest days work and get an honest days pay. Obviously some fathers never taught their boys to get their hands dirty.
As for Skid Rock, he is literal trash. Corporations made this scumbag. Republicans booked him like he is an outlaw. No wonder Republicans keep losing elections. Just stay away from musicians and actors. But hey when Hannity has Denise Richards on his show last Friday what else is their to expect.

californiascreaming on June 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Fort McHenry, home of the Star Spangled Banner, Baltimore, MD has the best celebration of Flag Day. Anyone in the area should try to go next year. It is free and so is the parking. Get there early for best parking.
Look at link for details

gr8muscles on June 15, 2009 at 9:48 am

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