“USA 101” by amadteaparty on the flickr.
I was taking a break from yardwork to make lunch and my daughter was dancing around me swinging something little and slappy on a stick at me. This exchange followed:
Me: Dude! Quit hitting me with that.
Kidlet: (continues trying to hit me)
Me: What even is that?
Kidlet: (stills long enough for me to see it is a miniature U.S. flag on a thin wooden dowel)
Me: Oh, no. That is not — (starts hitting me again) — Hey! Not okay! The flag is NOT a weapon!
Kidlet: The flag IS a weapon! (holds up the dowel end and mimicks stabbing the air Psycho-style)
“American Headache” via the awesome broken spectre on the tumblr.
Tomorrow is Flag Day here in the United States and while I am wary of overdoing it in an oppressive way such as our founding fathers would not have favored and accidentally sewing the seeds of jingoism, I do expect informed respect for patriotic symbols, especially the flag. (See my vitriolic Memorial Day entry for expansion on the issue of this inner conflict and dislike of corporate co-optioning of patriotism) Guess I’ll use it as a jumping-off point to explain to her about flags and traditions, etc.
I did a good, short unit on the National Anthem with the Scamps. Maybe I’ll dig that out of my current tutoree’s textbook when I see her this week, since her mom muscled the school library in to letting her take all her books home for the summer (I’ve said it before but the woman is literally a bulldozer in pumps; it is all I can do not to submissively pee when she enters a room). I remember some of it.
Did You Know? The giant flag about which Francis Scott Key wrote seeing wave over Fort McHenry at the end of the Battle of Baltimore was made in just about six weeks by Mary Young Pickersgill, with the aid of her mother and her thirteen-year-old daughter, Caroline, along with her nieces and two freed African-American houesmaids. They were commissioned by Major George Armistead to make the largest flag ever to be flown over a fort up until that time — the apocryphal story goes that he told the women he wanted to make sure the British could see it. The flag is presently going through a restoration to the tune of 18 million dollars right now in preparation for its centrality to the new, redesigned Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
via leotarded on the tumblr.
A widow with a spine of steel, Mrs. Pickersgill was one of the first independent female business owners in America. She successfully negotiated contracts for her flagmaking business with the United States Army and the Navy. She was also a passionate humanitarian, being notable in town for “color-blind” hiring in her sewing shop, with a special bent for women’s issues: she founded the Impartial Female Humane Society, which provided school vouchers for young girl children of any race or religion to be educated, along with the provision of networking and employment to their single mothers.
The More You Know.
Guess I should have saved all these flag facts for tomorrow, but I figured I had better strike while the iron of my interest was hot — I know what a fickle creature I am, and by tomorrow the flame of my curiosity about flags, Mrs. Pickersgill, and the history of the women’s movement would have died down to embers at best.
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