Hang the Flag
Hang the Flag On National Holidays and Explain Their Significance to Your Children
National holidays symbolize events that are significant to the nation. Celebrating them provides us with a chance to better understand, and to reflect on, those nation-changing events that took place on that day.
Unfortunately, we often celebrate national holidays on days that allow for a long weekend rather than on the day that is the anniversary of the event being recognized. This practice dilutes the significance of the holiday. Too often they have become simply a day off from work or school.
Memorial Day is an example of this. It used to be always on May 30th. Then in 1971, Congress adopted the floating date for Memorial Day - the last Monday in May - to satisfy holiday schedules for federal employees.
Explaining the significance of a national holiday to your children not only educates them and shows them you are aware of the history of our country but it provides a good incentive for each of us to better understand the reason for, and events associated with, the holiday.
A nation's flag symbolizes that nation. Hanging the flag on a national holiday expresses a pride in our nation and makes a statement that we recognize the meaning and importance of the holiday. When others see our flag hung, it gives them "permission" to do the same and creates a small sense of community.
Our National Holidays
The United States Information Agency has a nice site called Portrait of American with a section called National Celebrations which lists our national holidays and describes their significance.
The American Flag
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has a major project underway to restore the original 30-by-42 foot, 186 year old Star-Spangled Banner. A section of their web site entitled "Star Spangled Banner - The Flag that Inspired the National Anthem" contains most anything one might want to know about the flag - its history, its design, where and how to hang it and educator information on how to incorporate the Flag into a school's curriculum.