“Why ain’t you got your flag out?” says Mr. Richmond, entering the gas station in which he spends much of his time these days. “You know today is flag day, don’t you?”
“I guess the boss forgot to buy a flag, George,” says Mr. Davis, the station attendant. “And even if we had one, we ain’t got no place to put it.”
Mr. Richmond: “That’s a fine state of affairs, that is. Here they are tryin’ to bring home to you people the fact that you’re livin’ in one of the few countries where you can draw a free breath and you don’t even know it. You’re supposed to have flags out all this week. Don’t you know that? This is flag day and this is flag week. Where’s your patriotism?”
Mr. Davis: “What the hell are you hollerin’ about, George? You’re always runnin’ the country down. They can’t do anything to suit you. You’re worryin’ about taxes and future generations and all like that. Where’s your patriotism?”
Mr. Richmond: “Well, that’s different. A man got a right to criticize. That’s free speech. Don’t mean I ain’t patriotic.”
We’re not sure why June 18th is the date on the poster above as Flag Day has always been June 14th, since it was established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. It’s not an official federal holiday - it simply commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777.
The poster above was created by The Federal Art Project arm of Federal Project Number One under the Works Project Administration. We’d like to remind you that in addition to the photographs we so often feature, we are also eagerly seeking talented artists to contribute their views of the American landscape and its narrative. You can read more about The Federal Art Project and our invitation to submit work in last Monday’s post.