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Flags and Father’s Day


Honoring Two Great Occasions


Karen and Jay celebrate the convergence of two great American occasions – honoring our flag and showing appreciation for our dad’s – on a weekend that combines both Flag Day and Father’s Day.


As it turns out, this weekend, we are celebrating two wonderful occasions –  Flag Day and Father’s Day – both of which have great meaning, and both reflect values that have been and continue to be foundational to the success of our country. It’s great how these two occasions – which are so quintessentially American – are converging over these several days.

 

As you may know, Flag Day is celebrated each year on June 14th.   The occasion was made official in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring June 14 Flag Day – the specific date being chosen because it commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States which occurred on June 14, 1777, by a resolution adopted by the Second Continental Congress.  Very importantly, the design of the flag has special meaning – especially the colors: where red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. Values that we hold dear.


Similarly, Father’s Day is also an occasion that we embrace as a nation – recognizing that fathers – and father figures – play a critical role in the development of our youth, the cohesion of our families, the building of our great communities and providing the foundational strength of our nation.  Each year when Father’s Day comes around, we thank those ‘heroes’ – who get up day after day, provide for their families and serve as role models for the next generation.


And, the two occasions are actually interrelated.  The flag represents the ideals that fathers instill in their children - love of country, liberty, and a sense of belonging to a greater whole. It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who came before us, including the Founding Fathers, in shaping the nation we know today.


Meanwhile, fathers serve as pillars of support, wisdom, and guidance, imparting values that are reflected in the principles embodied by the flag. They are instrumental in fostering a sense of patriotism, responsibility, and respect for history and tradition in their children, much like the esteemed Founding Fathers did for future generations.


The convergence of Flag Day and Father's Day underscores the interconnectedness of these two celebrations. Strong, loving fathers inspire a sense of duty, honor, and respect for the flag and all that it symbolizes. In turn, the flag serves as a unifying emblem that ties together the diverse tapestry of American society, representing the shared values and aspirations passed down from generation to generation.


As we commemorate Flag Day and Father's Day this weekend, let us reflect on the profound impact of both fathers and national symbols in shaping our identity and collective consciousness as Americans. Through the guidance of devoted fathers and the reverence for our nation's flag, we continue to uphold the core principles that have defined our country since its inception - unity, freedom, and a commitment to preserving the legacy of those who came before us.

 

Grand Old Flag!

I’m hoping that we see a bevy of flags on display this year for Flag Day!  If you have one, please make sure it’s placed prominently – for all to see and appreciate.  You know, some may think it’s old fashioned – and some may say it’s just a piece of cloth, a symbol.  But they could not be more mistaken.  Our American values are embodied by that symbol.  Countless men and women have died to safeguard those sacred values.  And, we feel a pride in our heart, each time we see it.

 

In essence, the American flag, often referred to as the “Stars and Stripes,” symbolizes the core values and history of the United States. The flag’s 13 stripes represent the original 13 colonies, and the 50 stars symbolize the current 50 states. It stands for freedom, democracy, and the sacrifices made by those who have fought to protect these values. The flag has evolved over time, but its significance as a symbol of national pride and unity remains strong. So, why is having a Flag Day so important?

 

Flag Day in the United States is observed on June 14th each year to commemorate the adoption of the American flag. The tradition began in 1885 when a schoolteacher, Bernard J. Cigrand, organized the first recognized Flag Day at Stony Hill School in Waubeka, Wisconsin. He promoted the observance of June 14th, the anniversary of the 1777 adoption of the Flag Resolution by the Second Continental Congress. President Woodrow Wilson officially established June 14th as Flag Day in 1916, and in 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Despite this, Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though it is celebrated with various local events and activities.

 

As Flag Day approaches, we should ask ourselves, how can we best display our love for the flag? Here’s some thoughts. Head down to your local hardware store, visit a craft store, or visit my favorite patriotic company - Flags of Valor. As you know, Flags of Valor is a veteran-owned and operated company that handcrafts wooden American flags. The company was founded by two veterans who were inspired to create a business that combines their woodworking skills with their patriotism and dedication to giving back to the veteran community. Flags of Valor is committed to employing veterans and providing opportunities for them to use their skills in a meaningful way. They also contribute to various veteran-focused charities and organizations, ensuring a portion of their profits supports those who have served. The company’s mission underscores the importance of patriotism, service, and community. Please visit them at www.flagsofvalor.com

 

Displaying the American flag is a powerful act of patriotism and national pride. It serves as a reminder of the nation’s history, the sacrifices made for freedom, and the ongoing commitment to democracy and justice. For many, the flag is a symbol of hope and unity, particularly during times of crisis or celebration. Proper display and care of the flag also reflect respect for the country’s values and heritage.  Please enjoy this wonderful celebration of the American spirit!

  

Father's Day in the United States: Celebrating Our Everyday Heroes

Father's Day in the United States is a cherished occasion, dedicated to honoring the contributions and sacrifices of fathers and father figures.  I think we’ve all heard stories about a selfless dad – who made great sacrifices so that his children could have a better life.  In our own ‘Sunshine family,’ Brian Hettrick, Executive Director of the American Sunshine Movement had this to say about his father who passed away suddenly back in 2010. 


“I thought about how as a youngster he had experienced the ravages of both the Great Depression and a World War while himself fighting in the Korean conflict. His own father had passed away when he was quite young and growing up was certainly not easy.  He wasn’t one to say a lot of words and certainly didn’t show his emotions – until late in his life.  For many years he got up every morning at 4:30 to work at a physically demanding job to help ensure my four siblings and I were able to live a better life than he had growing up.  Because of him I was able to pursue my interests and dreams which he always supported.  As I get older, I realize and appreciate more and more how my dad was my hero.  Thanks Dad!”   


It’s with this spirit in our hearts that we observe Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June, originally established to complement Mother's Day by acknowledging the pivotal role fathers play in families and society. The history of Father's Day dates back to the early 20th century, with the first known celebration occurring on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington. This event was spearheaded by Sonora Smart Dodd, who sought to honor her father, a Civil War veteran and single parent that raised six children – who as she said held down both parental roles and did it with “leadership and love”. The momentum for a national celebration grew, and in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge expressed his support for Father’s Day, encouraging its observance across the country. Over the decades, Father's Day gained national recognition, culminating in President Richard Nixon's 1972 proclamation officially designating it a federal holiday.


Supporting fathers today involves recognizing the evolving nature of fatherhood and addressing the challenges that modern dads face. Fathers now juggle traditional expectations with contemporary demands, such as active participation in child-rearing, providing emotional support, and often balancing career pressures. Initiatives to support fathers include offering flexible work arrangements, ensuring paternity leave policies, and promoting mental health resources specifically tailored for men. Encouraging workplaces to adopt family-friendly policies can significantly impact fathers' ability to be present and engaged with their children.


In our quest to celebrate fatherhood, it's essential to shift our focus towards recognizing the everyday heroism displayed by fathers. While sports stars and music icons often dominate the spotlight, the true heroes are the fathers who invest their time, love, and energy into their families. These men might not achieve fame or acclaim, but their contributions are invaluable. They teach, guide, and inspire their children, laying down the foundation for future generations. By celebrating and valuing these everyday acts of heroism, we can foster a culture that appreciates the profound impact of fatherhood.


To further support fathers, communities can establish programs that provide education and resources for parenting skills. Local organizations and governments can offer workshops, support groups, and community events that create a network of support for dads. Encouraging mentorship programs where experienced fathers can share insights and advice with new dads can also be immensely beneficial. Such initiatives not only strengthen individual families but also build stronger, more connected communities. Social media also provides support as there are a number of online groups that help address issues and provide self-help from a father’s perspective.


Please go out of your way to thank either your father – or a father you know – who is giving it all for his kids.  It’s not always glamorous work – but so much needed, now more than ever!


Profile of the Week - Congressman David Scott of Georgia

This week we are delighted to highlight a true patriotic leader, Congressman David Scott.


In fact, the ‘story of David Scott,’ as described below – uniquely celebrates the convergence of these two great occasions – Flag Day and Father’s Day.  Please read closely and enjoy!

 

By way of background, Scott is a Democrat serving as the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 13th congressional district since 2003, and is deeply committed to veterans and patriotism. His dedication to these causes is evident in his legislative efforts and public service. He has consistently supported policies benefiting veterans, recognizing their sacrifices and contributions to the nation. His passion for patriotism is also reflected in his legislative initiatives, which often emphasize respect for American values and symbols.

 

One notable instance of Scott's dedication to patriotism and veterans (and the reason we are highlighting him on this occasion) is the story of his collaboration with a veteran to introduce HR 2536. This bill aimed to amend the United States Flag Code to include the display of the American flag on Father's Day. Scott believed that honoring fathers, particularly those who have served in the military, was a significant way to uphold national pride and family values. This legislation was inspired by a veteran who emphasized the importance of recognizing the role of fathers in both family and national contexts.

 

The bill gained bipartisan support and was eventually signed into law by President George W. Bush. The enactment of HR 2536 not only underscored Scott's commitment to patriotism but also highlighted the collaborative efforts between lawmakers and veterans to enhance the respect and visibility of American symbols. By advocating for this change in the flag code, Scott demonstrated his dedication to both the veteran community and the broader principles of national pride and honor. This legislation remains a testament to his ongoing efforts to promote and uphold American values through meaningful legislative action.

 

Thank you US Representative David Scott for your willingness to not just sit back but take action to support something that is so important to this country - both our Flag and Fathers - what a great pair!

 

Quote of the Week:  Father’s Day


"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: he believed in me." - Jim Valvano

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