Happy birthday wishes are due to the flag, the U.S. Army, and to the president as well. That is correct; Flag Day, the Army, and the president of the United States, Donald Trump, all share the same birthday.
Now, there are those in this nation who do not believe any of these three occasions are worthy of celebration. For instance, there are those who believe that Trump is anathema. Additionally, there are those who believe that the Army is an agent of imperialism around the world. Moreover, there are those who believe the nation itself is so corrupt that its symbol, the flag, deserves nothing but derision and destruction. Finally, there are those who hold all of these beliefs collectively.
The interesting thing about these positions is, that all of those who adhere to them have the absolute right in this nation to hold them. Freedom of thought, speech, and opinion are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as well as being in concert with the Declaration of Independence. However, there is an important caveat to these freedoms, which is often ignored. This is never without the duty to use it responsibly, and with grace toward those who disagree.
To exercise freedom responsibly, the individuals and groups should be armed with facts. They should also be able to deal with the facts in a responsible and graceful manner. With that in mind, here are a few facts about Flag Day, the birthday of the Army, and the birthday of the president.
One of the most interesting facts about Flag Day is that it is not a national holiday. In fact, its not even a state holiday:
…Outside of Pennsylvania and New York. Furthermore, New York’s official observance of Flag Day isn’t June 14 (when it’s commonly celebrated), but rather the second Sunday in June.
Thus, Flag Day, as revered as it is by many, is not observed because of any official governmental recognition. It is observed on a voluntary basis alone. Those who are enthusiastic about celebrating the flag and what it represents, do so because of things like duty and gratitude for, both, liberty and the cost of its maintenance. They do so from the depths of the heart.
Flag Day was not set for June 14 because the flag was first created on that day. No one actually knows for sure when and how that happened. The story of Betsy Ross having designed and sewn the first flag, perhaps on June 14th, is widely disputed:
Instead, many historians believe that Francis Hopkinson deserves the credit, because early journals from the Continental Congress are said to explicitly name him as the flag’s designer.
Why is June 14th used to date the patriotic holiday? The date was set as a commemoration of the day when the first “flag resolution” was passed by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. However, it was not until a hundred years later that the first national observance of Flag Day occurred.
It is undisputed that not everything that has been historically done under the symbol of the flag is commendable. Yet, the unprecedented liberty which was borne under “Old Glory,” is both righteous and commendable.
The United States Army is Born
The United States Army was officially born on June 14, 1775. This was almost two months after the famous “shot heard round the world,” on Lexington green, which began the Revolutionary War. The reason for using June 14 is because that is the date:
When the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of expert riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year.
The Army is the oldest military institution in America. It predates both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Soldiers in the Army began defending America even before the United States itself was officially born.
George Washington was General of the Army long before he was the first president. In fact, without the Army, there would have been no America at all. For 242 years, the Army has been the recognized vanguard of American military power throughout the world.
The history of the Army is not spotless, to be sure. A small minority of individual soldiers and commanders are stained with reprehensible actions while a part of the Army and armed services in general. However, that fact should not be used as a reason to despise the institution itself. There is no call to, as the saying goes, “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
The President’s Birthday
The president turns 71 years old on June 14th. Trump is the only president to have been born on this day. Obviously, this fact does not mean he is more patriotic than other presidents. It does not mean he is, or will be, a good president. All of this has yet to be determined. His tenure as the Commander in Chief is just beginning.
However, this man is also a father and a husband. That remains true whether or not one despises or adores him. His family will undoubtedly honor this day. From all appearances, they love him very much. In these contentious times, perhaps a small step toward civility among opponents, would be to honor the wishes of those on one side who possibly find this president’s birthday worth celebrating. It would be one example of how freedom could be used with grace and responsibility. In any case, it would be better than violence committed by those on either side of the political fence. There has already been more than enough.
So, happy birthday to the Flag; long may it wave. Happy birthday to the Army; long may it stand strong in defense of liberty. And happy birthday President Donald Trump; long may you serve the office and nation with honor.
Opinion News by D.T. Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
FOX NEWS: Flag Day facts: 10 things you didn’t know about the American flag
National Constitution Center: A brief history of Flag Day
Research Maniacs: President’s Birthdays
U.S. Army Center of Military History: June 14th: The Birthday of the U.S. Army
Featured and Top Image by Sgt. 1st Class Jake A. Newman Courtesy of Wikimedia – Public Domain License