I commemorate Flag Day each June 14 with red-white-and-blue and patriotic items at our home, my car and even my clothes – patriotic neckties, pins or shirts. Often, people will remark: “You’re getting ready for Independence Day mighty early,” or some other comment that lets me know they do not realize it is Flag Day.

I call Flag Day “the almost-forgotten holiday.” It is not a federal holiday like Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) or Independence Day, July 4. But it comes almost mid-way between them. It is easy to forget Flag Day since it is not a state or federal holiday.

A patriotic song that commemorates our flag is not as well-known as the "Star-Spangled Banner," "God Bless America," and "God Bless the USA". It is “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

You’re a grand old flag

You’re a high-flying flag

And forever in peace may you wave

You’re the emblem of

The land I love

The home of the free and the brave

Under red, white, and blue

Where there’s never a boast or brag

But should old acquaintance be forgot

Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Interestingly, and probably surprisingly, the colors of the flag have no official meaning. The same colors are used in the Great Seal, though, and they do have meaning there. Red represents valor and strength, white represents purity and innocence, and blue represents perseverance and justice.

The Flag Code, part of the U.S. Code, contains specific instructions on how the flag is to be used and displayed and how it is to be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

On Flag Day 2024, let us display our flag with gratitude for our country and the price that has been paid for our freedom, as well as with a resolve to remain “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler’s beat is the colorful and positive about Alabama. He writes about Alabama people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com.

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