With the Labor Day holiday in two days, many jobs, schools and businesses will be closed.

Many will display a flag in honor of the celebration.

We can expect to see our country’s flag displayed by schools, post offices, city buildings, government offices and military installations, but I’m seeing more and more that larger neighborhoods and individual homeowners also are displaying U.S. flags. I love that.

Flags on homes remind me of an across-the-street neighbor when I was growing up. This man was an immigrant, having sailed with his brother in a small boat as teenagers from the Netherlands to the U.S.

They settled in Texas, got jobs, married and raised their families as Americans. He was such a patriot.

He put a flagpole in his front yard, and each morning I would see him raise his American flag so proudly.

My family didn’t have a flagpole and flag. Neither did my neighbors. And we all were born here.

Patriotism is a feeling inside a person, and it is very individual. It can be expressed in many ways, whether by joining the military, voting, putting your hand over your heart during the national anthem, obeying the laws of the land, buying only American-made cars and products, flying a flag, and so on.

Doing one or more of these things doesn’t necessarily make or mean a person is patriotic. But showing patriotism outwardly indicates an inward sentiment.

Flying a flag is a fairly simple way to show your American pride, and it’s so needed in these days with so much negativity being voiced by individuals, on social media, on the nightly news, etc.

Many stores have flags for sale.

There are wall mounts for displaying smaller flags, and there are varying sizes of poles and flags.

Next week, I’ll share some of the basic rules, procedures and a list of holidays for flying the flag and how to do it appropriately and honorably.

But until then, happy Labor Day to all.

Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at darla.menking@gmail.com

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