October is not a big month for dates to fly the U.S. flag. Only one state joined the union in October, and only two other dates received Congress’s designation for flag-flying.
Here are October’s three flag-flying days, in chronological order:
- Columbus Day, October 8 — tradition puts Columbus Day on October 12, but in law it is designated as the second Monday in October (to make a three-day weekend for workers who get a holiday); in 2017, October 8 is the second Monday of the month.
- Navy Day, October 27
- Nevada Statehood Day, October 31; Nevada joined the union during the Civil War, in 1864, the 36th state.
(Yes, I’m getting to this late this year; it’s an election year, you know.)
Federal law also designates October 9 as Leif Erickson Day, a concession to Scandanavian-descended Americans who argue Erickson beat Columbus to the Americas by a few hundred years. Congress’s recognition does not include an urging to fly the flag, though the President may issue such a proclamation.
October 6 is German-American Day, whose history I do not know.
October 27 is also the birth date of Theodore Roosevelt (1858), the Secretary of the Navy who led the dramatic updating of the fleet that preceded the U.S. push to become a major international power. Navy Day was set on October 27 partly to honor Teddy’s work, and Teddy himself — the “birth” date of the U.S. Navy is considered to be October 7. Here’s a brief history of TR before his presidency, at the Miller Center, written by Sidney Milkis.
Fans of Roosevelt may get an little extra kick flying the flag on his birthday.
Other notable stuff:
- October 14-20 is National Minority Enterprise Development Week
- October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- October is National Energy Awareness Month
- October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month
- October is the second half of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which started on September 15
- How to fly the U.S. flag (Mental Floss)
- “Guidelines to Display the U.S. Flag,” at the website of the American Legion, carrying a note they came from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Congress’s flag etiquette guide, “Our Flag”
- A few rules from the Boy Scouts of America guide on flag etiquette