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American Flag Memories for June 14

June 10, 2021

Ready to Raise the Red-White-and-Blue on Flag Day

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

                As we prepare to raise the “Red-White-and-Blue” on June 14–Flag Day–I am recollecting memorable USA flags that have waved throughout my life.  The first American flags which I recall were in each classroom and in the auditorium, as well as hoisted atop an outdoor flagpole at Jacksonville Grade School, in my hometown of Blanford, Indiana.  Next, I picture in my mind the flags which were carried during the parades which I enjoyed as a child.

                At the northwest corner outside the Blanford Post Office was another flagpole which I distinctly remember.  From 1955, when my mother became postmaster of this small-town post office, throughout the next twenty-eight years, my mother was proud to fly the American flag six days a week.  After school or during summer vacations, I was always pleased to be given the opportunity to either hoist or take down the flag at our post office.  At times, my friend Michael did this duty in my absence.  When I became a Girl Scout, I was very pleased to learn the proper way to fold the flag and was proud to fold the flag for its “rest” at the post office after closing hour.

                In the 1960s, during a summer vacation of historical sites in the East, my parents, my older sister, and I toured the Betsy Ross House in the historical district of Philadelphia.  This tour was the first time I experienced a “Row House.”  Ascending the flights of old wooden stairs to tour the four levels of the Betsy Ross House was exciting.  At that time, we still thought unquestionably that Betsy Ross did sew the first flag–the thirteen-star flag–in that house on Arch Street.  Now, historians have other opinions about the Betsy Ross flag and even the house’s origin.  Nevertheless, I certainly enjoyed visiting this area of Philadelphia and feeling connected with the first flag of the USA.

                A decade or so after our tour of the Betsy Ross Home, Dad heard of the availability of a very tall flagpole, brought it home, painted the flagpole, and managed somehow to place the flagpole firmly in the ground.  Flanked by two evergreens to the north and a Colorado Blue Spruce to the east, with magenta sweet peas climbing the fence between the trees–the flag waving on this pole in the northeast corner of our east lawn made a beautifully patriotic sight and photograph against a blue Hoosier sky with a few puffy, white clouds.  When my sister and I had to sell our Blanford home, the Blue Spruce and flagpole were still standing for another family to enjoy.

                In the late 1980s, Lee Greenwood performed in concert at North Vermillion High School (Indiana).  “God Bless the USA” had been released in January of 1984.  My parents, friend Retha, and I were part of the audience that packed into the NVHS gymnasium.  As Lee Greenwood sang “God Bless the USA,” each member of the North Vermillion High School Marching Band paraded into and around the gym; and most importantly, each band member carried a large American flag.  This part of the concert was a surprise for most people in the audience:  the moment was a breathtaking one that brought tears to many eyes.  As Lee Greenwood continued to sing “God Bless the USA” and the flags swirled around the perimeter of the gymnasium, the atmosphere was energized.  What an American flag moment to remember!

                For a long time, I have kept three US flags in my front window to honor the service of my younger nephew and two cousins in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

                Three of my relatives were born on Flag Day:  cousins Kenny and Andrea, as well as my soon-to-be eight-year-old great-niece Lanie.  On the eve of Flag Day, our extended family will gather via Zoom for another virtual family reunion.  On Zoom cameras, the children will be waving the paper flags which they colored for our event.

                Of all the flags in my memory, the one that I most cherish is the one that is kept in a tight, neat trifold–the one that was draped over my dad’s coffin.  This beautifully made flag has thickly embroidered stars. One of those outstanding stars represents my Indiana, and this special flag brings forth warm and loving memories of my father who was proud to fly the flag of his country.

                On this Flag Day of 2021, I hope that we will enjoy seeing displayed many flags of the United States of America.

Happy Flag Day!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

June 9, 2021, Wednesday


From → Uncategorized

  1. mfanyo permalink

    Happy Flag Day to you and Willow, Alice! I am looking forward to our Zoom Celebration on the eve of June 14. Ric and I just purchased a new flag and pole for our home, since the previous flag was getting quite worn. How nice to look out our family room window and see the brilliant red, white, and blue of the new flag!
    God Bless America!

    • Mary–Thanks for adding your patriotic comment to this post. Perhaps, you and Ric can show your grandchildren how to fold the flag.

      Enjoy the weekend–Alice and Willow

  2. Carole permalink

    Fortunately, we were able to bring our 20-foot telescoping flag pole from Indiana; so with this second move, we are now permitted to proudly fly the colors of the “Grand Old Flag” each day and night.
    Happy Flag Day to all!
    Tim and Carole

    • Carole–Thank you for adding your patriotic comment to this post!  I am so glad to hear that you can enjoy your flagpole and flag at your current residence

      Enjoy the weekend!

      Alice and Willow

  3. Reblogged this on My Corner and commented:
    This post’s title pretty much tells you what it’s about. So, what more can I say except that Alice and I have been following each other’s blogs for years and are members of Behind Our Eyes, an organization of disabled writers. To learn more, you can visit: Now, here’s Alice’s post. Happy Flag Day!

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