Senator Boxer: Honoring Our Flag
Monday, June 11, 2012
Each year on June 14th, we celebrate Flag Day, a day set aside to honor the beloved symbol of America’s freedom and unity.
The flag of the United States of America represents the people, the places, and the unique history of this great country. It drapes the caskets of our nation’s fallen heroes. It tops our office buildings, stands watch in our courtrooms, and proudly leads the parade in our cities and towns.
This year, the flag of the United States is 235 years old – older than the U.S. Constitution. Since the mid-1880s, Americans have honored our flag with local observances, including a Flag Day celebration in Chicago in 1894 that drew 300,000 people. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing a national observance of Flag Day. A bill signed by President Harry Truman in 1949 codified the observance into law.
This June 14th, as we celebrate Flag Day, let us take a moment to appreciate the history of our country and all those who have built it, sustained it, and contributed to its lasting legacy.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Your Voice Counts: Californians Respond to This Message +
(NEW) Senator Boxer appreciate your nice note as we celebrated Flag Day a long time in honoring our flag. It is also the birthday of the US Army in which my wife and son have served for many years. Thank you for your service always a pleasure to hear from you.
(NEW) Thank you for your memo regarding Flag Day, tomorrow. I started flying the Flag daily in January after our 91 year old neighbor, a Pearl Harbor survivor, died. He had flown the Flag daily except for a brief time after President Obama was inaugurated. (Our neighbor was a Republican.) I took up the practice in his place, not because I am proud of all our country has done, but because I believe in the principles for which our country stands. I am hopeful that one day we will see a more civil interaction between Republicans and Democrats and that we can all work together toward improving our country and the world. I thank you for all of your efforts and your service, and for your support staff as well. Sincerely,
Kevin, Arroyo Grande
(NEW) Thanks for reminding us of Flag Day. I was traveling in Oregon which had made me lose track of the date! When passing through Grants Pass, OR. I was very happy to see the main street, as I went through town, lined with flags flying in the breeze. It was a wonderful sight & a reminder that despite our problems the United States is still a great place to live. Sincerely,
(NEW) A flag flies outside my home 24/7. I have my normal flags, and my special flags. More folks should have the flag flying at their home showing they love this country. No matter what their HOA or apartment complex says, their right to show their love and patriotism should never be infringed.
(NEW) At last, something we can agree on! As a retired Army First Sergeant, the father of two veterans sons and the son of a WWII veteran, the flag has great significance for me and my family. All of the service-members throughout our history as well as those who stay at home and maintain the homefront are the best group of people on this earth. God Bless America!
John, Rohnert Park
I hope your message reaches many people, especially the young. I remember all the flags flown on Flag Day in my early youth in Wisconsin, and then later growing up in New York City. It is important to know the history of our flag, what it represents, and to respect it. It truly IS beautiful. Thank you for all your good work. Sincerely,
Doris, Santa Barbara
Thank you so much for the reminder of Flag Day. I remember as a child growing up in D.C. that at school this was a big event each year in which we learned about the history of all the flags ever flown in US. Good to be reminded of the day and the freedoms it stands for.
Peggy, Hidden Valley Lake
Your comments on Flag Day hit the spot for me. I am not a member of your political persuasion but in honoring our flag, you are my respected senator and a proud fellow American in love with our country. The sentiments in your heart tell me that we have common ground today and that we see eye to eye in our noble flag. God Bless,
Jim, La Jolla
Thanks for the reminder of Flag Day, and a retrospective. My older brother, a truly heroic pilot with 91 combat missions in WWII, died last fall. He and I differed drastically in politics and foreign policy, but the flag draping his coffin, plus the military honor guard, felt so healingly appropriate, both for him and for our stormy relationship -- so American! I'm still an FDR+Eleanor Democrat, and believe we all founded a government to accomplish certain things for us, including "promote the general welfare." You have represented that idea for me. --
Thank you Senator, I am retired military, and retired sheriff's deputy. I have a year round flag flying at my house. Keep up the great work...
Thank you very much for reminding me. This means a lot to me. Sincerely,
Miles (U.S. Navy Retired Chief Petty Officer), Chula Vista
My Bother is a fallen u.s Army . That Killed in action and it was one of the nicest thing i have ever seen. It was a really nice ceremony. and yes they do cover the casket. and then they gave it to my parents. And i will all ways celebrate Flag Day. And always Honor our fallen Solder. And of course 4th of July And Now i have a son that is overseas in Germany Hoping he comes home soon. I will celebrate any Arm forces. Again thanks for the flag day. It does mean a lot to me and my Family.
So refreshing to wake up on June 14 with such a positive message waiting for me. You should consider doing this every celebratory holiday. Thank you- Sincerely
Thank you Senator for the reminder to fly my flag on Flag Day. I had forgotten. Thanks to you it went up Wednesday afternoon so it will be ready Thursday morning. At 8' wide by 5' tall it is highly visible from my second floor balcony in a three story, 57 unit building. Please keep on keeping on. Thanks,
David, Menlo Park
Although not a supporter of your views, on this issue I couldn't agree more. Thanks for sending out this message.
Lee, Santa Clarita
Thank you for your message about Flag Day. We fly our flag on every special day and it will be flying on Flag Day. The flag is on our breakfast table right now so we will no forget to put it out in the morning.
Pat and Dick, Van Nuys
I find the flag these days as an embarrassment to our citizens. It now represents imperialism and is wrapped around soldiers who are victims of senseless wars. Maybe that part of the flags history has to be told too.
Arthur , Ojai
We honor our flag as we also love what it stands for. I recall the threat this nation underwent in the 1930 and 40's.As a youngster I volunteered to serve our country, and did. Today we are once again threatened by an enemy that is almost invisible. It is up to all of us to protect and defend our precious heritage.
Leon, Long Beach
We were very pleased to receive your email concerning Flag Day & honoring our flag. We do hope you will also support singing our National Anthem at graduations, sporting events & schools, as well as, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at these events. So many of our elected Gov. Officials are trying to take these sacred rights from us & this will greatly influence how we cast our votes in the future.
Your message in reference to flag day is one issue I can agree with you on. Sincerely,
Lee, Thousand Oaks
What a grand message this is. I checked all my calendars, perfect score. Now I am sending a copy to everyone on my email list. Especially out of staters. Thanks for sending.
Charlotte, Huntington Beach
As a veteran of the US Air Force, I am proud to fly the Flag of our Country and I am very appreciative of your office sending this note. God Bless you and your family. Keep up the hard work!
I feel you should know that many citizens are very uncomfortable with this annual veneration of the flag. It has led us into many stupid, and self-damaging battles such as the atomic bombing of Nagasaki,and Hiroshima, the fire bombing of Tokyo and Dresden, the wars in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Central America. I will no longer pledge allegiance to this flag, but only to the Constitution. We use the flag to drape over our sins - the abandonment of habeus corpus, the Patriot Act, the absurd Defense Budgets and many more. Do not sit comfortably wrapped in this flag. If you wish to talk about Flag Day and what it means, then do so honestly and with compassion for all who have suffered because of our blandly excusing our often inhuman behavior.
James, Redwood Valley
Thank you for reminding us about flag day! We will fly our flag on June 14 with the hope and conviction that religious liberties be restored to our nation and we would remain "one nation under God". Sincerely,
Thank you for remembering to honor and exalt Old Glory, our flag. As you said, it is older than the Constitution, which is a direct indication it was honored by our founders. Let us not forget what it stood for then and what our founding fathers transferred from it to the Constitution: a sense of liberty and freedom from tyranny and unjust laws, allowing citizens the ability to exercise their God-given rights, tempered with responsibility.
Thank you for sending out the email about flag day because my family has a real connection to the designer of the first American Flag, Betsy Ross. Before she was married her last name was Griscom. On her tomb stone it says Elizabeth Griscom. My two sons Jacob and Spencer Griscom and their children Eva, Avery, Ethan and Elijah Griscom are all descendants of Betsy Griscom Ross. She is my two sons 8 times great aunt and my grandchildren's 9 times great aunt. Just wanted to share.
Thank you for your message reminding us of Flag Day and history of our flag. More of our citizens need to know more about our flag, and also to learn to show the respect it deserves. I am a WWII veteran and am dismayed too many times at the lack of respect shown for our flag. I am not alone in this observation and feeling. Anything you can do help in this respect will be appreciated. Thank you.
Thank you for your comments honoring flag Day. I am pleased to see we agree on the importance of this traditional observation. I admit to seldom having a coincidental perspective but am obligated to acknowledge any, albeit few, shared views. Thank you.
John, Cathedral City
Thank you for your comments on Flag Day. I learned a lot and now feel more positive about our national flag. Thank you for all that you have done for so long for so many of us! Appreciatively,
At 71 years of age, I am one of the few who each year remember not only Flag Day but also United Nations Day, Oct. 24. (I would be happy to sing you two verses of the U.N. Hymn.) I believe we best honor the flag when we prosecute those who corrupt our government and flout our constitution.
Carol, Palo Alto
I appreciate your thoughtful remarks about our United States Flag and thank you for sending them to your constituents about this. Considering all it represents - including the unspeakable sacrifices of our military service men and women and their families - I believe Americans should treat the flag with dignity and respect, even when we disagree with certain government policies. There are many ways for those who wish to use the flag to express discontent with government policies. Burning the flag should not be one of them. Burning the United States flag is the very action taken by our known enemies abroad. When I see an image of a burning flag I cringe not because I disagree with the individuals or group involved, but I cringe thinking of what a terrible effect that must have the families of fallen military service member! While I indeed respect the First Amendment rights of ALL Americans, with freedom also comes responsibility. Let those with disagreements and discontent with government policies use the innumerable other ways to express it.
Shirley, Citrus Heights
If we are to honor our flag we should honor our constitution and stand by what it means; freedom from oppression and government running every aspect of our lives. Government needs to get out of the personal freedoms that we have fought for and died for. Stop interfering with our rights to use of our private property in a responsible way, EPA has put tens of thousands of our citizens out of work by using unsubstantiated evidence in anything that they feel might, may / could possibly hurt the environment.
A few months after coming to the States from The Netherlands I joined the Army and served our Country to the best of my ability. Our Flag became for me a symbol of the greatness of the United States. Therefor I don't understand the reluctance of Congress to make any desecration of our Flag (burning it, spitting on it, dragging it through the mud, etc. etc.)an offense punishable by jail/fine or both. Yes, the Constitution gives us freedom of speech, and yes, if you don't like our Flag call it any thing you like, but just don't physically "harm" it. There is nothing in our country - no person, building, statue - that binds us all together as does our Flag. To me it represents the spirit of this great nation, the spirits of all the service men and women and the spirits of all the civilians who worked and slaved to make this such a wonderful country.
I had forgotten about Flag Day, I will be sure to fly my flag on June 14th. Sincerely,
Kenneth, Simi Valley
I'm so very glad to see you reminding us of the importance of this day for our Nation; and I trust that our President will acknowledge as well this historic event. My own father, who was a veteran of WWII, died on this day - in 1992. And far too many of our men & women have given of their lives or their limbs to keep us free. Yes, we do need to remember THIS Day! Thank You for calling this to our attention. And may God continue to Bless America: "Stand beside her, and guide her." Sincerely,
Robert, Mission Viejo
I understand your decision to build an appearance of bland patriotism in order to gain support with your constituents. I would also like for you to know that this same decision alienates some others, myself included, who recognize that the values of freedom and unity are not meaningfully embodied in what is - at heart - a symbol of militarism and nationalism, de facto elements of violence and division.
Phillip, Los Angeles
I thank you for sending the message about Flag day.. I am an Ex Service Man, I joined the Navy Dec 9, 1941 two days after Pearl Harbor and was discharged after the Korean War.. I was aboard the ship s s Robert Rowan that was sunk during the invasion of Sicily July 11,1943.. I am very proud of America and the American Flag.
Thank you for your message on this subject. I am a veteran of the Vietnam War. I speak to middle school classes each veterans' day. Here it the simple message I give about the flag. THE FLAG REPRESENTS THE COMMITMENT AND SACRIFICE OF ALL THOSE WHO SERVED, ARE SERVING AND EVER WILL SERVE OUR NATION. IT IS AN EMBLEM OF OUR PRIDE AND SACRIFICE. TO BE DISRESPECTFUL OF IT IS TO SHOW DISRESPECT TO ALL THE ABOVE.
Clinton, San Jose
Thank you for this important reminder about our flag and the pride that we should all feel about it. I fly my flag on the front of my house every day of the year. I think we all need to stay cognizant of the fact that we still live in the greatest country on earth and that it is such a blessing!
Deidra, Eagle Rock
The flag day is more important this year, because our country is in terrible mess. People do not have the nationalistic feeling which is badly needed to solve our employment, homeless and poverty problems.
Not only is June 14th flag day, but the U S Army was constituted in 1775, along with the flag. So this day is also the Army's birthday and it also predates our Constitution
As a citizen and Marine who served in Vietnam, I respect the American flag as the symbol of who we are and stand for, and I appreciate your bringing attention to Flag Day and what it represents. Given our shared awareness of the powerful, unifying symbolism of our flag, how is it that political events, like Presidential speeches, often have a backdrop of many American flags, rather than one? The multiplicity of flags flagrantly contradicts its role as our symbol of national and social unity. And worse, it communicates that our country is fragmented and that the flag, by itself, lacks the impact and stature to command sufficient respect. It implies disrespect for the flag by those doing the presentation -- that the flag needs strength in numbers to match the importance of event.
Tom, Emerald Hills
In response to your email, Honoring Our Flag, I would like to present the message that I just sent to some family members: “Hello Family! Ethan will be officially 13 years old, tomorrow night at 8:20PM. June 14th also happens to be Flag Day. And what do you think this Mom did? Yup, requested a flag to be flown over the U.S. Capital building in Ethan's name. Why? Well, Ethan has always been into those little U.S. Flags when ever he could get one, for starters. But, I see it as marking a transition from boyhood into the responsible young man that he is to become. He loves studying history and has always listened to the stories that his family relay to him and how everyone has contributed in their own way. How his ancestors made a life for themselves and the importance of Civil Rights and opportunity for everyone. In the years to come, it will be a reminder in hope that he will look to the opportunities that lay before him and make the best choices he can. That, I believe, is what this flag will mean to him. So, a U.S. Flag will be flown tomorrow, for a brief time, for Ethan. On his 13th birthday. Happy Birthday Ethan! And many more to come. Love, Mom”