Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday fun activity: Where IS this?

    Today is Flag Day.
    Happy Flag Day.
    Not the most popular holiday.
    Kind of a low rent, odd man out banner festival jammed between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. 
    Three patriotic holidays in the space of five and a half weeks.
    Quite a lot, really.
    Four, if you count June 6, the anniversary of D-Day, which is practically a holiday, and certainly carries more emotional heft than Flag Day. 
    Most days do.
    Makes sense that one would get the short shrift.
    Flag Day is not a federal holiday. It celebrates...for those who notice...the adoption of the United States flag on June 14, 1777 by the Second Continental Congress. Though not of course this particular flag, not the current flag, with its 50 five-pointed stars, one for each state. That only dates to 1959, when Hawaii and Alaska entered the union. 
    The original 1777 resolution reads:
    “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
    That flag looks like this:

    So not the biggest deal, as far as holidays go. Sort of an Arbor Day level holiday but for flags instead of trees. Beer companies don't even notice it. 
    No Flag Day picnics. No greeting cards. You don't get the day off of work.
    A few stores have sales, I suppose.
    And the only only obligation to fly the flag.
    Which the vast majority of folks don't bother to do.
    I am not one of those folks.
    I actually look forward to Flag Day.
    Because I have a flag. 
    That I love to fly.
    I'd keep it out all the time. 
    But then flying it wouldn't be special.
    So I hold back and fly it whenever I can.
    Such as on Flag Day.
    I tend to notice flags too.
    Like this enormous beauty, hanging properly—the union to the left, I checked—in...well, a public space in Chicago.
    Frankly, I figured readers will ID the spot immediately.
    But I like the picture, so decided to use it anyway. Today being both Flag Day and a Saturday, when my Where IS This contest runs. 
    Besides, given how photos I'm sure will stump people get guessed quickly, maybe, in that perverse way life has, the one that seems obvious to me will leave you scratching your heads.
     Maybe not.
     Make sure to post your guesses in the comments section below. 
     The winner will receive ... what? ... I'm getting tired of handing out posters and copies of my books. 
     How about someone else's book? 
     How about a copy of First Son: The Biography of Richard M. Daley, by Keith Koeneman, published by the University of Chicago Press. It's about Rich Daley, but no book is perfect. 
      I have an extra copy that's yours, if you guess correctly.
      Good luck.   


  1. I think it's, maybe, Union Station.

    1. Union Station was my first thought, but it doesn't have any exit to Adams. The exits are to Clinton & Canal.

    2. Actually, I think the doors do front on Adams, and used to go directly out there, but now there's a turn that leads out onto Clinton.

    3. So I won? That would be neat. (Strange how the conversation took such a turn after that.)

    4. Yes, you have, though if you want the prize -- the book on Daley, which is not exactly scintillating reading -- you have to email me your address, which is a stumbling block for a lot of people. Unless there's something else you like -- the posters look nice, if you are into posters.

  2. I'm guessing the lobby of the former Peoples Gas building at 122 S. Michigan.
    But if I'm correct, I don't want a biography of Richie Daley, I hate that bastard!
    Give it to the next person.

  3. That flag is only fit for burning. Genocide against the Indians, slavery, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Cuban embargo, Two Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Down with flag. Thye U.S. is a cancer on humanity. Piss on the ashes. It is the swastika of today.

    1. You don't have to be ignorant of American history, or believe that everything the United States ever did was right, to be patriotic and love the flag. Comments such as the one above only show that the writer doesn't know world history, has never been anywhere else, and is judging America on a standard that any other place falls far, far, far below. One of the many beauties of the flag, and this country, is that, among its glories, is the ability to withstand slander undiminished.

    2. Mr. Steinberg I tend to agree with your point, but I'm curious- how do you judge a nation's crimes against its virtues? Surely it's not just all the other nations have been terrible (by and large, they have been, of course) but on some sort of objective standard.

      What's the standard that you use?

    3. A very interesting question. I would say that a nation is judged by its ideals. What is it trying to do? What direction is it going? The idea of freedom and personal liberty wasn't forged in the United States--that would be Locke and Hobbes and a variety of English philosophers—but it certainly was tested here. We fell short of our ideals constantly, but they were new ideals that we were still forming. At first it applied only to ourselves--we wanted white men who were us to be free. Then that attitude was applied to others. If you are going to blame the U.S. for slaughtering the Indians, that begs the question: in what nation was invasion and domination NOT a key part of its history? Except of course for those nations so isolated it wasn't a factor. When I look at the globe, you don't see the Vikings or the Celts rolling along to the present day. There isn't a condemnation of the U.s. that doesn't have a big asterisk by it. Didn't end slavery until the mid-19th century, while the Brits ended it, what, in 1803? Sure, and how much of the British economy was built on slavery? I suppose part of my philosophy is that you should feel good about where you live, just as you feel good about yourself as a person, not because you are perfect, not because you never did anything wrong -- or still do, for that matter. But because one should embrace the positives, tempered by the negatives that help us understand and improve. My "the flag is only for burning" correspondent, I would bet cash money, has never burned a flag, continues to live here, and is just a sad sack sourpuss who is miserable on many fronts, not just U.S. history.

    4. Nations don't commit crimes, people do, and the nation's citizens usual suffer the consequences of poor leadership or power hungry dictators. I believe the United States and its people learn from past mistakes and try to improve on how we live and treat others. This isn't always true in other countries.

    5. Anon at 7:51 needs to go to North Korea.

  4. I wrote this a while back to answer all my buddies that were outraged about Obama using some altered version of the flag in his campaign. Flag day is a good time to share.

    I have been receiving many disturbing emails about how Obama has desecrated the flag.
    Let me tell you, I was really upset.

    I was so upset that I dropped my Flag Mug spilling hot coffee on my Flag Pajamas.
    Of course that got my Flag Underwear wet and ran onto my Flag Chair.
    I had to wipe it up with my Flag Paper Towels, which I found right next to the
    Flag Paper Plates and Cups.
    All the bending up and down on top of the anguish this had already caused, I became
    violently ill, fortunately my Flag Bucket was handy. All the thrashing around made my
    diverticulitis kick in and I crapped all over myself, so off to bathroom I went.
    There I sat on my Flag Toilet Seat and finished the job, cleaning myself the best I could
    with my Flag Toilet Paper.
    Being a mess, I had no choice but to pull back my Flag Shower Curtain and clean myself up.
    The Flag Soap worked its magic with my Flag Washcloth making certain to get in all the
    cracks and crevices. The Flag Beach Towel came in handy to make sure the job was done.
    Finally feeling refreshed I put on my Flag Thong, Flag Socks, Flag Jeans and Belt, Flag Shirt,
    Flag Converse Shoes, leather Flag Jacket and Flag Hat.
    Ready to get over the bad start of my day, I ventured out for a nice walk around the neighborhood.
    Nice to see all the patriotism on display. There’s the Flag everywhere. Well, some may be missing the last two stripes, that one is shredded all the way to the pole, I’m sure that one stuck in the gutter is OK. There’s one that’s wrapped around the pole, but I suppose the Cubs flag that’s over it will protect it. Funny I didn’t notice all this last night when we were walking around. But it was dark and none had a light on them. But hey, Patriotism is nice but, electricity don’t grow on trees you know.
    Those that use the Flag as anything but THE FLAG are no Patriots.

    You can Google all the Flag products mentioned to see them, unfortunately I didn’t make any of them up.
    Maybe you should Google Flag Code too.

  5. Wow, that Saturday Fun Activity sure went off on a tangent!

  6. Next year you should start a campaign to have Americans fly the flag! I can see it now a huge parade of pickup trucks flying the flag honking their horns! The only time I see that is when the Puerto Ricans do it, but they aren't flying our flag!

  7. On the top of my list of things that irritate me are anonymous posts. At least have the courage of your convictions and allow us all to identify you.

    1. Sorry, i don't like giving my email address out, even to sites I like and visit often, if an anonymous option is available I'll take it.
      Mine was the Flag rant.


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