The Colors of Patriotism

Since Friday is the 4th, I decided we need to focus a little on patriotism and how we show our colors.

If you're anything like me, you're very patriotic. I love decorating the house in red, white and blue! Our next expense is going to be putting in a flag pole so that we can fly the flag while our son is gone to basic training.

But even before we afford that, we hang all the stuff we can find up. What about you? There is some that is tasteful, and there is stuff that is -- well, tacky. While I guess it could be said that tacky is still patriotic, I think it needs to be thought out a little.

I used to have a little flag for my car, but it broke. It was a cheap one! (grin) We have had the magnetic strips that clink to the car, but someone moved it off our truck and now it's gone. sigh. I guess it's time to find another one.

You know what is interesting? I discovered that there are rules regarding how the flag is to be displayed! I found this information on a site about the flag:

* The American Flag can't be draped over anything or used as a covering. It shouldn't touch anything beneath it. The only time the flag can be used as a covering is for a casket. This is common practice for the funerals of servicemen, veterans and government officials.
* Don't draw the flag into folds. It should always be able to fall free.
* Never use the flag or its image to advertise products or merchandise. The only instance where it may be used in advertisement is when the product advertised is an American Flag.
* The flag can be displayed behind a speaker, but it cannot be used to decorate a platform or stage.
* In a church or auditorium, if a flag is displayed on a staff, it should be located to the speaker's right as he/she faces the audience.
* Don't wear the flag as clothing or use it as bedding or drapery.
* A flag patch or pin may be worn by military personnel, policemen, firemen, and members of patriotic organizations. It should be placed near the heart.
* Do not use the flag or its image to wrap a gift or to carry anything.
* The flag shouldn't be marked with designs, drawings, letters, words or anything else.
* It is acceptable to add gold or yellow fringe around the border of a flag as long as nothing is added to the body.
* Representations of the flag shouldn't be printed or embroidered on paper products or anything else meant for temporary use and disposal.

Now I understand why it was such a big thing in the sixties and seventies when the protesters were wearing shirts of the flag...and I always thought it was just patriotic. Interesting.

The 4th of July always makes me think of food and fireworks. We usually have a big breakfast with family, watch the local parades, and then have a BBQ later before going to watch fireworks somewhere. We usually see them from our own neighborhood, as we live between two large shows. It amazes me how LONG the firework shows are now! Seems like they lasted a whole 10 minutes when we were kids, and now they go one forever...grin. Almost feels like they are too long.

My favorite part of the fireworks is the music that is played with it. For many years when we lived in Salt Lake, we were right by Sugarhouse park. They would have a big firework display sponsored by KISN radio and they would play music that you could get on the radio while the fireworks were going off. It was sooo inspiring. There is one song, I'm Proud to be an American, by Lee Greenwood that ALWAYS makes me cry. It is so touching and true.

So, despite what your traditions or favorite thing to do this holiday weekend, I hope you spend it with family and reaffirm your desire to live in this country of the free, land of the brave -- and support our soldiers who are out there fighting for that right.

I want to add the words to his song so that if you care, you can sing along with the song. I've changed my play list at the bottom of the page for this month, so you can also hear it.

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,
and it’s time to stand and say:

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

God Bless The U.S.A. Words and Music by Lee Greenwood

Also, there is a great song at the neighborhood jukebox. Have you checked it out yet? This song is an appropriate one for our nations birthday. Go listen to it and check out some of the others. I love the jukebox!

Have a safe and wonderful 4th!

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Jenna Consolo said…
Fun post about the 4th and care of the flag. I remember learning all of those rules with my kids for scouting. Great reminder.
Sandra said…
I did a post today about the flag and talked a bit about the flag code and does and don'ts and why's
Jennifer said…
I found the list of ways it is inappropriate to use the flag interesting. I didn't know that even using its image for things is inappropriate.

Because of all the don't's (sorry, I don't know how else to write that word.) :) I was surprised that it's actually okay to sew a gold or yellow border on the flag. I would have thought altering the flag in any way would be worse than using its image on wrapping paper. Hmmm.
Sandra said…
Jennifer, sewing the border on the flag is ok because it is actually part of the flag used in "cerimony" or special times, usually a flag that is inside and not outside.

Innappropriate on wrapping paper because that is something that is thrown away or discarded- not the proper way to show respect for the symbol of sacrifice that made us free.

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