I’m not sure Flag Day is really a mainstream thing these days. Is it?

Flag Day is an annual celebration each June that celebrates the Second Continental Congress’s adoption of the American flag. I’ll be visiting the Besty Ross House in Philadelphia later this morning to see whatever they’re doing in honor of the day.

If it weren’t for my grandfather I doubt it would really be on my radar. I vividly remember him celebrating Flag Day. We had a proper flag pole that would live in the garage most of the year, but come out for Flag Day in the warmer weather and stay out for the rest of the summer. It wasn’t a fancy pole, and it wasn’t a fancy flag, but the reverence and simple ceremony of retrieving it and installing it in its place on the lawn had a big impact on me as a little kid. He would have me help him find the pipe buried in the ground where the pole belonged, which was often somewhat hidden after winter and the rain of spring had shifted the soil. Then the pole went up and each night the flag had to be brought down and each morning raised again.

There weren’t more than 5-6 years of this before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but his tradition has become mine in its own way. I love the flag. I love the history and knowledge it bears. I love the ideals it represents.