And really- what could be more all-American than a member of the British Royal family at play on a beach in Thailand, clad in nothing but a star spangled bikini? This is the stuff of Norman Rockwell paintings, I tell ya!
I came across these 2009 images of Princess Eugenie (the kid sister of Princess Beatrice of the Doorknocker hat fame) while doing a cursory search of Beatrice without the hat and thought it was an interesting choice of apparel for the the 6th in line to the throne of Great Britain.
Apparently, the London tabloids and paparazzi considered her swimwear 'Very unpatriotic', seemingly a more pressing issue than the £100,000 tab for her security detail whilst cavorting in Thailand as the Asian nation was rocked by a series of violent antigovernment protests in the capital of Bangkok. That said, the vexilologist in me feels compelled to point out that if it were a simple red/while/blue swimsuit, the colors would've been appropriate for Thailand, Great Britain or the USA.
Photo courtesy MinneMomBut heading back to the USA, there isn't much else out there that I'm as happy to see as the Main Street of a small town adorned with the stars and stripes for any number of occasions such as Patriot's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day or even Flag Day itself. It's something that can't be obligingly summarised into a few short sentences, but I'm sure many of you reading this feel the same way.
For those of us with a worn or tattered flag- or one with not enough stars- that we need to part with, there is a certain etiquette involved in the proper retirement of the flag.
1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.A number of organizations are more than willing to properly retire any worn, faded or torn American Flags that are turned in. More often than not, your best bet your nearest Veterans of Foreign War Post- some VFW posts even have a drop box where you can leave the flag even when the post isn't open.
2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.
3. Place the flag on the fire.
4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.
5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
6. Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.
UPDATE- As soxfan4life pointed out, I neglected to mention that today also happens to be the US Army's 236th Birthday. Apparently the US Army decided to celebrate by reverting to the patrol cap in leiu of the black beret that has been the Army standard for the last 10 years. When I first heard of Gen Shinseki's proposal to have all members of the United States Army to be issued black berets as the default headgear for soldiers, I was against it because issuing it would diminish the significance of the berets issued to Special Forces, Airborne and Ranger units. Soldiers had complained that the standard black beret was difficult to adjust, was too hot (particularly in a desert climate) and appeared out of place while engaging in such tasks as filling sandbags or policing up trash.