Why not Flag Day?

The Richardson Rotary Club administers the Richardson Flags fundraiser to raise money for college scholarships. We have the largest flag program that covers all of Richardson and beyond into RISD areas. But we aren’t the only organization putting out flags, and it’s only natural that people will compare our service to others. Other than what we do with our profits, the biggest contrast seems to be that we don’t put flags out for Flag Day (June 14th). Here’s why.
Every flag program in this area has selected five as the number of holidays to celebrate in a year. The goal then is to pick the *best* five major patriotic holidays. All of the flag programs seem to agree on four of them: Memorial Day (end of May), July 4th, Labor Day (early September) and Veterans Day (mid-November). For the first 10 years of our program, we, like seemingly everyone else, chose Flag Day as the fifth holiday. Starting in 2018, we made a change.
As 2017 came to a close, we evaluated our fundraiser as a whole and realized the first three holidays were a real burden on the workers. With Memorial Day, Flag Day and July 4th all two weeks apart, we were either delivering or picking up flags six weekends in a row, which meant a dozen scout troops and a bunch of Rotarians had to work on six consecutive weekends. Burn-out loomed. We also recognized that one very positive feature of our flag program is how it quickly it can transform a humdrum residential street into an amazing avenue colorfully festooned with waving stars and stripes. That transition just makes you say Wow! But if flags are out three weeks out of five, then the flags become too normal and the Wow effect is gone.
So, we looked for a reasonable solution. Memorial Day and July 4th are both federal holidays, with banks, post offices and most businesses closed. Flag Day celebrates the date the Continental Congress adopted the US flag, and the US Army considers June 14th its birthday. We know many people hold Flag Day near and dear, but compared to Memorial day and the Fourth, it’s the lesser of those three holidays. It isn’t a federal holiday. Nothing closes on Flag Day.
Starting in 2018, we decided to take Flag Day out of the schedule, and we added in the third Monday in February. Originally Washington’s Birthday, then Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthday, and now it’s known as Presidents’ Day. It’s a federal holiday and it nicely spreads out the dates when we deliver flags.
Rather than focusing on not having a third flag in the span of a month, let’s all celebrate that we have flags out on Presidents’ Day when none of our competitors do.