This Year’s Flag Day Plans

By Sam Spero and Patrick Goodney

  • Begin the day as I would any other, checking for executive orders that the flag must be flown at half-staff.
  • Get to the supermarket right at 8 a.m. for an American flag sheet cake before they’re all gone, so I’m not left celebrating yet another Flag Day with an Incredible Hulk cake instead. Of course the kids love the cake anyway, but deep down I know the difference.
  • Read aloud the names of every American soldier who has ever died.
  • Play “Who Can Fit The Most Flag in Their Mouth?” with the whole family and remember, whoever wins gets to keep the flag.  
  • Write a strongly-worded email to my school district’s superintendent, urging them to go back to ending the school year in late June. Ever since they switched it in 2006 to ending in mid-May, they haven’t held the elementary school Flag Day parade, and performing the big solo as Yankee Doodle every summer was the highlight of my whole year.
  • Correct anyone who mentions 1776 that they’re mistakenly referring to Independence Day; Flag Day actually began in 1777.
  • Call my congressperson asking them to emphasize to their constituents that it’s actually Flag Week, not just Flag Day, and it really should be Flag Month if we’re being honest.
  • Salute the motherfucking thing.
  • Check my work email because we live in a twisted world that doesn’t count Flag Day as a federal holiday, and I’m still expected to be in touch despite taking a vacation day.
  • Pay tribute to Flaggio Daycurio, the mythical founder of the first Flag Day in the old country, with three knocks on the nearest flagpole. The kids are probably too old to still believe a woodland elf living in a flagpole can only come out to bless humanity with patriotism if they tap on his home three times each Flag Day, but I can’t bring myself to ruin their innocence.
  • Remember, we must abstain from vaginal intercourse on Flag Day until sundown.
  • Carry extra stars to correct any outdated flags I notice throughout the day.
  • Gaze at my Yankee Doodle costume hanging in the closet and sigh as it goes unused yet again, like it has every year since the school district changed its schedule in 2006.
  • Watch “Groundhog Day” with my family, like we do every Flag Day.
  • Remind my kids that they’re celebrating Flag Day, not the Peace Treaty of Polyanovka signed between Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which of course was signed on June 14th as well, but in 1634.
  • Facebook stalk my ex to see how she’s celebrating Flag Day without me.
  • Check my work email again and think to myself how Betsy Ross never had to worry about this stuff on her days off. Things were so much simpler then. Betsy never got calls from General Washington after 5 p.m. asking her to forward a spreadsheet she already sent him. Betsy never had to log into Outlook on vacation, or respond to Slack notifications over the weekend. When we have the opportunity to direct our energy toward what we are truly passionate about—and do so on our own timeline—we produce our best work, which in Betsy’s case, went on to become be the symbol of the best darn country this world has ever seen. And just try to imagine the astronomical fortune Betsy Ross made in royalties alone.
  • Pick which local flag stores I’ll visit tomorrow when all the flags are on sale.
  • Look sternly in the mirror and tell myself, “I am a yankee doodle dandy. I always have been and always will be. No school calendar change can ever take that away from me.”  
  • Ceremonially burn the dozens of flags I dropped on the ground throughout the year on a funeral pyre, careful to save any flags dropped after 11:59 p.m. for Flag Day of the following year.

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