Importance of Flag Day elevated by setting a good example

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Flag Day continues to lose its importance each decade. It is only a symbol. Sometimes symbols are revered and can be overlooked as unimportant. They are only as significant as we make them.
Flag Day should have a special place for the Fox Valley/west suburban area, especially Batavia and Aurora. Dr. Bernard Cigrand is given credit for motivating the adherence to a special day to honor the United States flag. Thursday, June 14 is Flag Day and has been celebrated for more than a century.
Bernard Cigrand, a Luxemburger, was a young teacher in Fredonia, Wis. when he organized students to celebrate the flag June 14, 1885. He continually was an advocate for Flag Day. He studied dentistry in Chicago and moved to Aurora and Batavia. He set up a dental practice in Aurora and continued lobbying for celebration each June 14. Many call him the father of Flag Day. His son, Elroy “Cig” Cigrand was an all-state football player at West Aurora High School and played on the mythical and undefeated football State champion in 1913. He was a captain. Later he played at Northwestern University where he studied dentistry.
The Second Continental Congress approved the flag design June 14, 1777. Betsy Ross organized Flag Day in Philadelphia June 14, 1891. Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation for Flag Day in 1916. Harry Truman signed an act of Congress in 1949 for Flag Day.
How many of us act and conduct ourselves relative to the flag continues to stir passion and sometimes controversy. Many would rather ignore the flag, just as many seek to elevate its importance. It is a symbol and not a deity. Nonetheless, ignoring Flag Day is unfortunate and is a special day we should acknowledge.
There are rules. Wearing clothing which resembles the U.S. flag is considered in poor taste, even if the intentions are honorable and celebratory.
Burning the flag is acceptable only in a retirement of tattered and torn flags. Certainly the Fox Valley Veterans Breakfast Club and other organizations have adhered to the ceremony of retiring flags which no longer can be used, or, are embarrassing to be flown.
One point to emphasize is there is no government law against burning the flag. The unique First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, still the most important and essential of the 10 Rights, gives personal expression to burn the flag. It is the essential freedom of speech that often comes under attack by those who simply do not understand what was viewed as important against the ruling British Empire more than 240 years ago. The best way to keep Flag Day and the U.S. flag important is to honor its existence by setting a good example.

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