Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 7/3/13“Keep ‘em flying!”

Jack’s Winning Words 7/3/13
“Keep ‘em flying!”  (American Air Force slogan)  D’ja know that the original star-spangled banner was 30’ by 42’, large enough to be seen from far away?  Francis Scott Key saw it during the bombing of Ft. McHenry and was inspired to write a song about it.  Before Detroit’s J.L. Hudson building was demolished, our family went downtown and saw the world’s largest flag (104’ by 235’) displayed on the building’s side.    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  Living outside of Detroit those nine years, I heard often the phrase,,,"Before _________  our family went downtown Detroit and saw _________ !" There were always many found memories "before". Do you hear as much said about Downtown Detroit today, Jack, outside of the sports attractions? Curious!? ====JACK:   I have no problem with going to downtown.  My children and grandchildren go down there regularly.  The River Walk along the river between Detroit and Windsor is spectacular.  The fireworks on the river are outstanding.  As in some urban areas, there are places that you probably want to avoid, but it's like that in many metropolitan cities.====REV:  Our son, Joseph, living and working in Ann Arbor loves downtown Detroit and would love to have an apartment there...the Eastern Market is a huge draw for him. Thanks for the update====JACK:  Most "outsiders" don't realize that Detroit is a metro-area, which includes places like Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield, Birmingham-Bloomfield Hills and the Pointes.====REV:  So true...kind of like Kansas City...there's KC, Kansas and KC Missouri and smaller cities all around both Kansas Cities. I had a gentleman describing where his relatives lived, explaining it was just outside of Kansas City...after further conversation he mention it was Arkansas City, Kansas (2-3 hours south by the Oklahoma border). To some, Kansas City is the only "reference" city in Kansas.

FROM JM IN MICHIGAN:  Do you have any idea what has happened to the huge Hudson's USA flag?  It would be interesting to know if it is in use somewhere.  I had always assumed that the original stars and stripes was used as a battle flag which would have made it rather small.   The flag over Fort McHenry must have taken a lot of time to make since sewing was still done by hand in those days of the War of 1812, as we call it.  Sometimes we need to realize that the best things are not called up instantly in this age of instant-cy!====JACK:  I understand that the flag went to the Smithsonian Institution in 1976.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  It's a majestic sight to observe the stars and stripes against the open sky, unfurled and undulating in a steady breeze.  Makes one proud.  Anyone who has been out of the country for an extended length of time, knows the feeling of pride to chance upon the American flag at one of our government's facilities abroad.  Likewise, coming back into New York harbor on a troop ship years ago, we experienced a surge of cheers and tears.====JACK:  Bigger, while impressive, is not necessarily better.  As with many symbols, it's what they stand for that counts. Artistically, I like Japan's rising sun flag.  During WW 2, We saw it as a sign of "the enemy."  I like the hymn line, "Change and decay in all around I see.  O thou, who changest not, abide with me.".====RI:  Yes, Japan's flag is a strong image.  I wonder how many outside of Japan realize it is the sun symbolized there.  I also like the hymn line, "Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;"...the recognition of God's benevolence.====JACK:  The hymn, Abide With Me, was written by Henry Lyte as he was dying of tuberculosis.  In fact, he died soon after the words were written.  "I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;  Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?  I triumph still, if Thou abide with me."

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Did they hang it vertically or horizontally? Or upside down? ====JACK:  Since no photographers were at the sight, we have to rely on artist's renderings which generally show the flag waving horizontally.  Maybe FSK described to someone what he saw..

  FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Flags abound today! My family is gathering for a long weekend of golf, swimming and EATING!  How blessed we still are to be living in the USA, and yes, the flag does inspire pride. Long may it wave over the home of the free and the brave!!====JACK:  Don't forget the sparklers, and remember, the unlighted end goes in your hand.  Run around waving them, like you did when you were a kid.

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