No offense to Canada, but every time I cross the border it doesn’t take long before I’m sick of looking at that red maple leaf! Again, I mean no disrespect to this country or the symbol on its flag, but that little iconic leaf can be found everywhere you look. We’re not just talking on Canadian flags either – although you have to admit there are quite a few of those everywhere too. The leaf is on signs, business windows, menus, hotels, bumper stickers, food packaging, etc. The list of where it might turn up goes on and on. Even American-based restaurants include the red maple leaf when advertising their business. Actually, now that I think about it, props to Canada for having so much pride in their country that they go to the effort to brand that red maple leaf in every nook and cranny they can.
Maybe the real issue has nothing to do with this Canadian symbol; maybe I’m just a little jealous that we don’t show more flag pride here in the States. You could argue that as a country we’re doing better at flying our flags, but selfishly I’d love to see the ol’ stars and stripes a little more.
The July 4th holiday is one of my favorites and as we’re all celebrating America this month I’m sure we’ll see plenty of American flags flying proudly. But have you ever stopped to wonder about the other months of the year and why we don’t see more flags then? How many American flags do you see flying in January? If it were up to me I’d love to see more of this symbol everywhere I turn because it stands for the freedoms we all enjoy after brave men and women who have served – or are currently serving our country – fought for these rights. You don’t have to be Toby Keith to recognize what all those in our armed forces have done for each and every one of us Americans.
Flying your U.S. flag is important and this is especially true when it comes to boating. Novelty pirate flags are great, school or pro team flags make a statement, but shouldn’t we all have an American flag flapping in the wind this summer? Again, not just around the Fourth of July holiday, but shouldn’t a flag be as common onboard your pontoon or deck boat as a cooler?
Hopefully now I’ve got the gears in your head turning and you’re ready to pick up a flag for your boat. Next question is, where can you find one? C’mon, it’s not like trying to buy a pocket knife in an airport; American boating flags are not that hard to find. If your local marina doesn’t sell one, just get online. I did a quick search on westmarine.com and one of the first items that pops up when searching is a U.S. flag kit with a pontoon mount. Same at overtons.com as well as taylormadeproducts.com. If you wanted to really be lazy, amazon.com sells just about anything you’d ever want in life and they’ll drop it right on your doorstep within what feels like just seconds after you click on your order. Geeze, even Walmart can do that these days.
So finding a flag won’t be an issue and really the price shouldn’t be either, so what excuse do you have now? Hopefully none and you’ll get a U.S. flag for your boat coming your way. Use the holiday this month as a good reminder to fly your flag, but just because the fireworks will eventually signal the end of the celebration, don’t put an expiration date on your pride for our great country.