Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Day between

Many years ago, I was asked if New Zealand had the Fourth of July. I responded, “Yes. It’s between the third and fifth of July.” Of course what they really wanted to know was whether there was any observance of the USA's Independence Day. The answer to that is “no”, even though, of course, some people, especially American expats, DO mark the occasion. I always have, too, and this year was a little more public.

In past years I’ve commented on how various companies will latch onto Independence Day to promote sales. This year was no different. In fact, all the same ones I’ve shared in past years are still at it, so no need to share again.

Instead, an Instagram photo (above) is something new for the day. I mentioned in the caption that “Today was the first time we flew the flags for real because the weather was good, someone was home all day, AND it was a flag-flying holiday”, all of which is true, and it’s been a long time coming: Nearly eight months, actually.

Last November, I wrote about how we’d bought flags and planned to fly them, but couldn’t. In the time since then, one or more of the three things I mentioned in the caption have been missing, meaning that on the few public events/days people are urged to fly flags (in either country), the weather has been bad or we were away for the day. But there was one other factor, too: We usually didn’t remember them.

The reality is that since we’ve never flown the flags until today, doing so wasn’t exactly in the front of our minds. That’s no surprise, of course, and so, neither is the fact that this is the first time since November that all the conditions were right.

In that post last November, I talked about my impish side, how part of the reason I like flying the flag is that folks to my Left and to my Right are appalled that I would do so. However, there’s another side of that: The sheer ordinariness of it for MOST people. Most of my Facebook friends, for example, are mainastream Liberals or Conservatives, not dwelling at the two ends of the spectrum, and all of them think flying the flag is a pretty ordinary thing to do. Not remarkable in any way. I think they’re absolutely right about that.

Of course, it’s not as simple as that, either: Living outside the USA means that, according to international protocol, when we fly the US flag, it can’t be alone, in place of the New Zealand flag. The New Zealand flag can be flown alone, of course, or with any other flag, but none of them should fly in place of the country’s flag (Royal Standards or their equivalent are an exception, of course, but that’s a different matter entirely).

The point is, we flew both flags because that’s just what’s done. Some other day I may choose to fly some other flag next to the New Zealand Flag (since we only have two flag holders). Maybe not. Besides, it may a very long time before all conditions are just right.

And all the conditions today were just right (apart from me battling a cold sort of thing). And, there was just enough breeze to make the flags actually fly a bit. So much the better.

Happy Independence Day, America!

Update 5 July 2018: The weather today was very different—still cool/cold, but also overcast all day. Although rain wasn't predicted, I was too busy to keep an eye on the weather so I could go bring the flags in, so had today's weather been yesterday, we wouldn't have flown the flags. And, I would have lost a contemporaneous blog post topic. See? We ALL won!

Fourth sale (2017)
Selling Independence Day (2016)
Celebrating the Fourth of July (2015)
Fourth of July (2014)
Are you proud? (2013)
Fourth of July (2011)
Time, distance and home (2009)


Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

We do! It's a small Pride Flag (the Rainbow Flag), I think they call the size a "yacht flag", which I think sounds hilarious. We'd like to get a full-sized version. I'd like to get the Chicago flag (the best designed city flag I've ever seen) and even the ugly Illinois flag (technically, the term is "ugly AF", I believe). If worse comes to worst, one of those two could substitute for the US flag, I suppose. πŸ˜‰

rogerogreen said...

Well, do you HAVE any other flags? Remember September 16 is Mexican Independence Day