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June 14, 2011

Margie's Story Time: Flag Day

Margie's Story Time: Flag Day

By Me, Margie

Images-1 Today is June 14th, which is Flag Day.  Most people don't even know what that is.  Lucky for you, I am here with the real story.

Once upon a time, there were a bunch of former Brits who came to America for various reasons.  Some came to avoid the religious oppression of their amoral yet devout monarchy (and if you think that shit ever ended wake up and smell the sharbat).  Some came for a new life and the promise of free land (many of those poor bastards ended up fighting in one war or another or in some coal mine because when they saw 'Free Tickets to New York' - they thought it was New York City, NY and not New York, West Virginia or whatever but that is a story for another blog). Many, to quote the officer and gentleman who is John Winger 'were kicked out of every decent country in the world'.  

By the late 1700s, the people over here were freakin furious and not going to take it any more.  If you have not read my former stories on these important historical events, you totally should. Here they are and I will wait until you finish.  I mean, I don't have time to repeat myself.  Margie's 4th of July Story

So the Patriots (not the cheaters from New England - want something for that burn, Belachick?) Are going to war and they really can't afford spiffy uniforms, like the Brits (this is what we call dumb luck, because you could see those red tunics from miles away and the dirty brown shirts not so much) so they decide to design a really cool flag. Naturally, either because most men are color blind, or because most men are really all about their penises (Really, Anthony?  You want to see something that will really get a woman's attention?  Come to my neighborhood, dumbshit) they could not agree on a flag.  I mean, the color combinations were just a puke-fest.  Lots of black with snakes (you don't have to be Anna Freud to figure that one out) and red with big fat crossed swords (paging Dr. Closet) and purple with an early sketch of the Washington Monument.  Duh.

Lucky for them, a woman named Bettina Rossini (yeah, they changed her parent's names at the intake center at Plymouth Rock or wherever when her family came over in the early 1700s and she was 2nd generation but that totally would have been her name) stepped in to settle the chaos.  She took the colors red and white from the coolest flag ever and then added blue, for purity because a lot of these guys were Puritans, which is also a blog for another day because it is just me or are the most self-righteous always the ones who turn out to be into the kinkiest shit?  Seriously - if you can't be bothered to learn to do it right, just stick to Missionary and be done with it, you pervs.

Still, the men kept arguing and she got so sick of it that she didn't even complain when their finished design involved, like, fifteen thousand different cut pieces and stars with freaking ten separate sides, as if sewing at those angles is a piece of damn scone or whatever especially when it's dark half the time and some 'nad keeps stopping in to make weiner jokes.  

Why didn't Bettina complain? Because she was just the supervisor. Know who did the real work on Old Glory?  That's right.  Raffaella Mancinnetta, one of my few ancestors who came here really early. How do you think I know the real story?  But no way were they going to give credit to some non-whitebread girl with big brown eyes, Mediterranean skin and a rack that could stop traffic.  And let me tell you, stopping traffic in those days was a much bigger thing because they didn't even have antilock break systems or anything.  Unless you count big piles of horse crap, which I totally do not and that is so gross I could never have lived back then just saying.

So we are very proud of our flag, no matter who actually made it. But the birth of the flag got no real formal respect (remember the rule - you only get real history props if you are on money or have a national holiday named after you - I mean, songs are great but you never know when poser pop star is going to butcher the thing) until the late 1800s - over 100 years after the actual flag was made. Some school teachers decided to commemorate June 14th - the day in 1777 they passed the resolution adopting the Stars and Stripes - and Flag Day was born.

On a really serious note, we take our Flag very seriously.  Some people even wanted to amend the Constitution to make it illegal to burn it.  We shouldn't need that.  Just use some damn common sense and common courtesy, asshats.  

We are at war x 3 (or is it 4 - I can't keep track of Yemen and those other places we seem to be bombing) and flying that flag is one way we show respect for our warriors in harm's way.  It would also be good if we showed them respect by taking better frigging care of them when they come home with injuries, some of which cannot be seen, so maybe if people in DC could stop obsessing with some guy's junk and maybe get some priorities, that would be good.

Because that is the only way we are going to live happily ever after.

Find a way to support our Vets and their families, along with our Gold Star families. Thank you.

The end.  




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'Bettina Rossi'?? Oh, Lord....

In defense of our government, the guy's NAME IS WEINER. How do you NOT take a swing at such a soft-ball pitch. *sigh*

Thank you for opening my morning up with a grin and some righteous history!

Love it! Makes me want to declare a legal holiday and not go to work in 12 minutes or so...may our red white and blue fly proudly for a long long long time!
As always, Margie, you've got the goods!

"Bettina Rossini" - I don't know, William; I can totally accept that!! (I think my people were just being modest about it all these years...)

You, Margie, have been gone too long. We love our history lessons, a la Ms. Mancini.

I say the woman who could sew knew what she was doing.

Did you know that the flag that flew while Frances Scott Key composed the Star-Spangled Banner is in the American History Museum of the Smithsonian? When I saw it a few years ago it was not in especially good shape, but was being repaired, very carefully. It was held in a big room (with a glass wall so you could watch the process), stretched out over most of the space, which is huge; it's something like 15 X 35, or some equivalent thereto. Conservators are hoisted up over it and work on it hanging in midair, like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. Now it is just being displayed: http://joshrmoore.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/img_4156.jpg

Happy Flag Day!

Oh Me,Margie. Me,Margie. Me,Margie.
You should be teaching a university course or something! Always there with amazing history for us. You are wonderful!
I am volunteering to work the Miami International Military Lounge. (Which I never knew existed until yesterday when I went for training.)It's a big room with big comphy couches and TV's and computers and snacks where the incredible people who serve can relax if they have a layover that is away from the zillion people who pass thru the airport every day. They can even sleep over night if they need to and it's all free.
I can't wait to see them.
Fly your flags today and every day people!

God bless America!

I just love Margie's history(ish) lessons. I admit I wondered where Flag day came from.

Xena, that sounds like an awesome place to volunteer.

It was raining pretty hard this morning, so the flag stayed inside.

We periodically read The Story of the Star Spangled Banner, (http://www.amazon.com/Story-Star-Spangled-Banner/dp/0824965671/ref=sr_1_24?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308059008&sr=1-24) to the girls.) it is a fun book, perfect for the under 7 set.

Another pizza lesson. If you are ever lonely, walk into a USO with a pizza. You will have plenty of friends.

I support American Herro Quilts which is a group making quilts for injured soilders.



Admiral Mike Mullen on Letterman last night. He talks about making sure the returning soldiers are taken care of towards the end of the piece. I wish he wasn't retiring this fall. I like this guy.

Thanks, you, Margie for the history lesson. As Alan said, it was raing pins and needles this morning so the flag stayed in. It drives me crazy when people don't know the etiquette of flag flying and they leave it outside in the rain and after dark without the proper lighting. If you have never seen a VFW ceremony where they destroy old flags, you should. Very moving.

Sorry the link I put in the previous comment was a bad one. Here is the full interview with Adm. Mullen.


Pam, and people hang flags upside down and backwards, too. There is a definite right way to do this sort of thing. http://www.usa-flag-site.org/etiquette-display.shtml

My brother was in the Army for many years. When he died my sister-in-law asked that there be a military sendoff for him. He was not a veteran, so he didn't get the full deal (as a friend did), but it was still moving. They do the whole flag-folding thing, after removing it from the coffin, and then present it to either the spouse, a child, or a parent of the deceased soldier. Did you know you can buy display cases for flags? Michaels carries them, among other places.

from Answers.com:

An American flag or for that matter any flag flown upside-down is considered a sign of distress...
Mutiny, piracy, sinking, coup, rebellion of the people/government.
The fact that any flag flown upside-down means distress is not the whole story however... flags flown upside-down can and are used as a form of protest.

My dad (WWII Navy) had the Veteran's send-off, and is buried in the Veteran's cemetery. They did the flag folding and presented it to my Mom, and played Taps, and even my teen-age nephews were sobbing. It gets you right in the gut.

My mother also has the coffin flag from her father, who was an Irish immigrant who fought for the U.S. in WWI. When I was a kid, she used to hang it from the roof of the porch on July 4 and Memorial Day. It made quite a statement.


Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts also do a nice job at their Flag Retirement Ceremonies.

I need to repair my flag bracket over my garage before the 4th.

Because we share the same opinion about Belichick (CHEATERS!!) I will not call you into my office to discuss my 17-greats grandmother, Betsy Ross. But I am leaving the office early today, so You, Margie, will have to stay late to lock up. Just saying.

Happy Flag Day, Me Margie!
I'm off to get acquainted with the newest patriot in the family..four day old sweetie!
God Bless America!!

A good laugh with a serious ending! My kind of post! Found your blog today with thanks to my friend Kathy(aka Katherine in a previous comment here). If you'd like, pop over to my blog & check out the slide show of Hero Quilts & Quilters.
Happy Flag Day to everyone!

Bravo, You, Margie, on another wonderful history lesson! Very inspiring and chock full of information my elementary and secondary schoolbooks missed. (My college ones too, and history was my minor...hmmm.)

Very cool volunteer work, Xena.

Betsy Ross is an interesting woman -- three husbands . . .? There's a lack of documented proof (perhaps because sedition was a hanging offense?) but as someone (Woodrow Wilson?) opined, "if she didn't, she should have."
The flag as a symbol was of major importance in uniting 13 previously separate colonies . . . (as in the old folktale of the father showing his sons that individual sticks can be broken, but when tied together in a bundle, they are strong).
Thanks for the reminder, Margie!

Just delightful. You make history fun ;-)

Wonderful, Margie! My dad fought in WW2 and Korea, and when he died, at age 80, the military sendoff was both sad and thrilling. My brother has the flag in a place of honor.

I'm going to order a pizza and take it to the USO.

Great to hear from You, Margie . . . where have you been keeping yourself? Wait, no, I'm not sure I want details. Anyway, thanks for the history lesson.

Karen in Ohio, thanks for posting the photo of the flag itself . . . holy cow, how in the world did the original seamstress(es) manage to put that together quickly???

I'd love to see the day when all flags are flown in honor and respect, none to indicate military supremacy, and when all nations are at peace. Meanwhile, respect our troops, here or abroad.

Dear Margie:

I am just appalled at the way the history books rewrite history and am very glad that you are here to straighten it out. Just another example of "dead white guy" history. I was very glad to get this update today. Thanks for cheering us up!

My Dearest Cugina Margie,

That was a great history lesson, you should totally be a history professor up at the college. Just saying. Now, can you explain why there are always matress sales on Presidents Day?

Cugina Rosie

Sunny here today, so my NC state flag was waving on the pole of my gazebo, indicating that I was hard at work. Really. And I didn't even realize it was Flag Day. How would be office run without you, MM?

That's how would THE office run w/o you, Miss Margie. I'm going to suggest you for Employee of the Year. (Sorry, all wages are currently frozen.)

The good thing about your information is that it is explicit enough for students to grasp. Thanks for your efforts in spreading academic knowledge.

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