Flag Day: Honoring the symbol of our nation

Honoring the symbol of our nation

When the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag of the United States, 240 years ago, our founders were making an important statement about the uniting of this rag-tag band of colonies under a single banner — as one nation.

By 1861, that unity was in peril, and a Mr. Morris, a New Englander, felt compelled to suggest a celebration of the anniversary of the adoption of the flag and “a program of a patriotic order, praying for the success of the Federal arms and the preservation of the Union.”

It took a while for the idea to stick, and it was not until 1916 that June 14 was officially proclaimed Flag Day; and not until 1949 that a National Flag Day was established. It seems the idea comes around at times of great worry, or of great celebration for our nation.

So this year, as we can again use the reminder that — different as we all are; and varied as our opinions may be — we live under a single banner, it will be nice to see the extra flags flown with pride throughout our community.

With all those flags comes a little responsibility, however. Remember to show respect for our national emblem by keeping it lit (either by sunlight or a spotlight); taking it down in inclement weather, unless it is specifically designed otherwise; not using it as part of a costume or decoration (bunting is available for those purposes); storing it properly and destroying it by burning in a dignified manner when it is no longer a fit symbol.

Those are just some parts of the code of etiquette for our flag, but they are meant to inspire pride and respect.

Keep them in mind as you honor the Red, White and Blue — and the Republic, for which it stands — today.