by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley
Q: When is Flag Day?
A: Every summer on June 14, the United States pays tribute to the 50 stars and 13 stripes that majestically symbolize the founding principles and enduring freedoms of this great country. From town squares to school yards, store fronts, front porches, cemeteries, sports venues and public buildings, Americans from all walks of life are called upon to show our patriotism and citizenship by flying the flag of the United States of America.
On June 14, 1877, the United States observed the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes by the Continental Congress. Years later, Congress made observance of Flag Day an official designation, requesting under law that the President issue an annual proclamation observing June 14 as Flag Day. The legislation passed in 1949. In 1966, a joint resolution of Congress invited Americans to display the flag during the entire week in which Flag Day occurs.
Q: Why is it important to observe Flag Day?
A: While other countries derive their national identities from a common ethnicity, centuries of shared history, or as subjects of the same royal family, our nation was founded on a shared set of timeless principles. Our flag is more than just another national symbol. Old Glory reflects the honor, integrity and truths embraced by generations of military service members, first responders, public servants and private citizens who proudly call America home. From our youngest citizens in classrooms across the country, to sports fans who share the love of the game, to those who have witnessed moments of peril and uncertainty, through times of war, terror and natural disasters, the American flag brings comfort to those who mourn, honor to those who have fallen, and hope to those who believe that in America, even in the darkest of hours, the best days are yet to come.
During my travels across the state – visiting with Iowans in schools, in veterans groups, and at service club meetings – the flag is invariably on display, serving as a visual reminder of the truths we hold self-evident, that we share “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As Iowans enjoy the rites and rituals of summer time, let’s make the time to celebrate our common heritage, to fly the flag and to recite in public the Pledge of Allegiance. We share an allegiance to honor freedom, liberty and justice for all. Americans for more than 200 years have embraced the red, white and blue for its symbolic salute to those who have fought for and defended the guiding principles that bind us together as a nation, stitched together for all to see, from sea to shining sea.
*** Iowans may obtain American flags flown over the United States Capitol year-round through my office. Flags come with certificates commemorating special occasions, if you wish. For order forms, go to www.grassley.senate.gov. Click on Constituent Services and then Flag Requests.
Monday, June 3, 2013