When was the last time you heard (or better yet, sang) the lyrics to George M. Cohan’s marvelous tribute to the country he loved?
“You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev’ry heart beats true
‘neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.”
The song, which debuted in a musical has remained a hit for more than 100 years. Alas, the musical has long since disappeared. But the plot was about a U.S. Senator who wanted a niece to “marry up.” So, he arranged a marriage with a man who claimed to be of European royalty. However, the Senator’s teenage son discovers the so-called count is not only a fake but an international criminal. After much travail, the son saves his father’s reputation and his cousin’s virtue. Hurrah!
Why June 14? That’s the day in 1777 the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our official national flag. It’s not a federal holiday, but flags are flown on all government buildings. Today’s the day to fly the flag or buy one and begin flying it.
But if your flag is in less than pristine shape, ripped or faded, now might be the perfect time to retire and replace it. Here’s a photo of my husband Bill, Captain William B. Hunt, USN (ret.), placing our faded flag in the Red Marine Corps Mailbox located in front of Johnston SC American Legion Post 154 . Worn flags deposited in Red Marine Corps Mailboxes are collected and properly disposed of at an American Legion flag burning ceremony
Now, without peeking at the lyrics, can you sing the song? How about your grandkids? https://nationalflagfoundation.org/etiquette/when-to-dispose-of-the-flag/