You want to mark your calendar so you remember to put your U.S. flag up on those dates designated by law and tradition, right?
- Massachusetts statehood, February 6 (6th state, 1788)
- Lincoln’s birthday, February 12 (yes, it’s still designated in law as a date to fly the flag)
- Oregon statehood, February 14 (33rd state, 1859)
- Arizona statehood, February 14 (48th state, 1913)
- Washington’s birthday, now designated President’s Day, the third Monday in February, February 19 in 2018
You may fly your flag on state holidays, too — which of those dates do we see in February? Is there a good list?
Though we don’t mark it usually, February 14 is the anniversary of the first recognition of the Stars and Stripes by a foreign government, in 1778. The French fleet recognized the ensign carried by Capt. John Paul Jones, at Quiberon Bay — painting of the event is at the top of this post.
February 23 is the anniversary of the raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima, in 1945 — 72 years ago. We should probably watch for proclamations to fly the flag on that date, an anniversary made more important simply because so few survivors of from among the veterans of that war and that fight can be expected to live to see the 80th anniversary. Regardless any official, formal proclamation to fly the flag for the Iwo Jima events, you may always fly your flag.
Please visit earlier posts at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, on the death of Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who took the widely-released iconic photo; on the death of Charles Lindberg, pictured in the first flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi; on the death of Raymond Jacobs, the last-surviving veteran from the flag raisings; and on my visit to the Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima-themed U.S. Marine Memorial overlooking Washington, D.C.
A Youtube poster edited a part of the Army’s documentary, “To the Shores of Iwo Jima,” showing the flag raising on film, and added in some other images for a less-than-three-minute look. (Alas, that edited version is gone — here’s the full 20-minute movie; propaganda at its best, for noble purposes.)
Winter Olympics kick off in South Korea in early February — there will be much U.S. flag waving, especially if the U.S. athletes perform as well as many expect and win medals. Olympics events, both summer and winter, often provide large public forums for improper flag display, too — but we ignore that, since no disrespect is intended, usually.
Wave your flag!
- Facts about the U.S. flag, from Smithsonian Institution
- O, Say Can You See, blog on U.S. flag from Smithsonian