A Blast From The Past: Patriotism


Flag (Erin Nicole Bowman, 2010)

Today is Loyalty Day!

If you haven’t ever heard of Loyalty Day before … well, then you’re probably a subversive or something.  Loyalty Day has been a real holiday since 1955.  That was when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1st to be Loyalty Day.  (I’m going to guess that this was done largely to provide an alternative to International Workers Day or Communist New Year or whatever May Day was known as back then.)  The official statutory definition reads as follows:

(a) Designation.— May 1 is Loyalty Day.(b) Purpose.— Loyalty Day is a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.(c) Proclamation.— The President is requested to issue a proclamation—

(1) calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Loyalty Day; and
(2) inviting the people of the United States to observe Loyalty Day with appropriate ceremonies in schools and other suitable places.

So, in honor of Loyalty Day, here’s a short film from 1972.  It’s called Patriotism and it was apparently made to teach school children what it meant to be a patriot.  Apparently, it means working as a crossing guard and wearing a vaguely fascist-looking vest while doing so.  It also means keeping an eye out for weeds and trash in your neighborhood.  My favorite part of this film is when the kid spots the turned over garbage can and gets a look of disgust on his face.  You can just tell he’s thinking, “Those goddamn hippies.”

(For the record, that’s what I always think whenever I can’t find a pen at work.)

Personally, I agree that making a good neighborhood is the first step in making a good country so I definitely applaud the kids for taking the time to clean their neighborhood up.  Still, I have to wonder: where are the adults?  How many grown ups walked past the overturned trash can and just ignored it?  Perhaps all the adults in the neighborhood were so disillusioned by George McGovern dumping Tom Eagleton as his running mate that they just gave up on life.  Who knows?  1972 was apparently a pretty traumatic year for some people.  Myself, I just find it amusing that there was a politician named McGovern.  That’s like a seminarian named McClergy.

Speaking of adults, this short film was hosted by actor Bob Crane, who would be murdered six years later and whose life would serve as the basis for a rather depressing movie called Auto Focus.

Anyway, in the immortal words of Team America: World Police, “America!  Fuck yeah!”  Let’s make this the best Loyalty Day ever!

 

 

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