In all the excitement over yesterday's media-gasm, today will certainly be overlooked. Sad really, when the "press" has all this free time now that they're not trailing Billie Jean around picking up little pieces of his face...
For those of you that left your dayrunners behind at Margarita Monday last night, I'll clue you in. June 14 is Flag Day. No, it's apparently not a major enough holiday to garnish a 3-day weekend, and used car sales, but it's an important one to me.
When I was a little Stewling, I used to give official-type people all kinds of shit for forgetting Flag Day. It would really torque me off when the flag that we had fought and died for was ignored because towels weren't 35% off. You see, Flag Day is supposed to be a Day that we set aside to honor the symbol of our nation, but since the calendar doesn't get fiddled with to give us a day off, Chester McFatass can't be bothered to pay attention.Feel free to scroll right past this long-winded anecdote of mine. Essentially, it's the younger, more marketable version of me cracking wise and one-upping the ruling class. (If it were in a sitcom, I'd probably be played by an Asian guy and have a black girlfriend.)
I remember one year right around the time political correctness was coming into vogue, there would be special announcements for all sorts of bizarre shit at my school. Haitian Pride Day. Differently Abled Persons Awareness Day. Winter Carnival. Gay Wombat Day... you get the idea. (OK, I made that one up... we didn't have any Haitians in my school.) Anyway, Flag Day rolls around and there's nary a peep out of the office denizens. This, I decided, would not
So retrieved my Union Jack from home at the first opportunity (thank you open campus policy!) and ran it up the flagpole. For a good 4 hours, nobody noticed or said a thing about our onetime foe's colors flying proudly over a government institution... until. (there's always an "until" in these sorts of stories.)
School lets out, and I'm hanging around out front waiting to see if anyone at all
has their wits about them, when a Vietnam vet bus driver comes up the sidewalk fuming. I quietly follow him to the office, wishing I had popcorn for the show. One "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU COMMIES THINK YOU'RE DOING IN HERE FLYING THAT DAMN FLAG?!?!" later, and a very embarrased principal comes out and takes down my Union Jack. She's trying to apologize to Sgt. Slaughter, but he's not having any of it and I begin to fear for my colorful banner, so I step up and say "excuse me, but may I have my flag back now?"
They both turn and look at me like I just announced I was offering free circumcisions. Trying not to let a shit-eating grin creep onto my face, I explained that while every other day under the sun and some fake ones (like that Haitian scam) got special attention, Flag Day had been completely ignored, so I wanted to call a little attention to it.
The principal was pissed at first and wasn't about to give me my flag back. She said something about a district policy regarding pranks, and how she couldn't condone them... until I offered to trade her the school's flag for mine. I pulled the school's neatly folded US flag from my backpack to show her, and saw her face fall. The bus driver was pretty impressed (and so was I actually, it's not easy to fold a US flag by yourself) and he backed me up. "Aw, give the kid his flag. He's right."
For the rest of my school career, I was that guy's hero. Occasionally, I'd see him around town, and he'd always say how impressed he was about "that time with the flags." I wouldn't be surprised if I'm some sort of urban legend at the local VFW by now.
The moral of my story (bet you thought I didn't have one, did you?) is this: Take some pride in your country, America. You don't have to agree with everything we've done, but be proud of how far we've come. Because if you don't stand up for the flag, it might not be around to stand up for you.
Enjoy your Flag Day, everyone.