by David Trumbull
June 13, 2008
Saturday, June 14th, is Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States by resolution of the Second Continental Congress, June 14, 1777. Since 1966 the week that includes June 14th has been designated National Flag Week.
In issuing this year’s Flag Day and National Flag Week proclamation President George W. Bush said:
The American flag has been our national symbol for 231 years, and it remains a beacon of freedom wherever it is flown. Since the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our flag in 1777, it has stood for freedom, justice, and the resolve of our Nation.A quick check of the City of Boston official calendar of events showed no scheduled municipal observance on Flag Day. However, flags of various colors and designs will be in abundance at the big parade that day, the Gay Pride Parade which starts at noon in the Back Bay and travels to City Hall Plaza. Several local politicians signed up well in advance to march, including Michael Flaherty, Sara Orozco, Sonia Chang-Diaz, and Mike Ross. Prior years’ marchers have included Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino.
Since the first days of our Republic, Americans have flown the flag to show their pride and appreciation for the freedoms they enjoy in this great Nation. Every day, Americans pledge their allegiance to the flag of the United States, and our troops carry it before them as they defend the liberties for which it stands.
Gay pride observances are getting to be as main stream as celebrations of Italian heritage at Columbus Day or Irish heritage on March 17th. Today every group in America seeks recognition as a group. In proper proportion such pride in one’s group is a good thing. But group identity, taken too far, corrodes our common heritage as Americans. When Al Gore mistranslated E Pluribus Unum as “out of one, many” he spoke an unintended truth about politicians who are quick to embrace identity politics over national unity. This June 14th fly your American flag and reflect on our American liberties, including the liberty to express pride in your group—whatever group that is.
[David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End.]