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Celebrating Flag Day

Flag Day is a nationally recognized holiday to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Stripes of the official flag of the United States. The Donate Life community also has a flag with a much different, yet very significant meaning.

On June 14th, our nation recognizes Flag Day to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. Many Americans celebrate Flag Day by displaying the Red, White and Blue in front of homes and businesses. The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice. Flag Day is a nationwide observance but is not a public holiday in many parts of the United States.

The Donate Life community also has a flag with a much different, yet significant meaning. Donate Life flags symbolize unity, remembrance and hope, while honoring those touched by donation and transplantation since 2006.

The concept of a flag raising is to make a unified statement about the importance of donation and represent the great need for donors and encourage people to register as a donor. When donation occurs, a Donate Flag is often flown to honor the gift of the life the individual gave through organ eye or tissue donation. Many hospital partners, funeral homes, businesses, individuals, and other community partners also participate.

In our region, many of our hospital partners use the Donate Life Flag as the main way to honor donors. For example, they may drape the Donate Life flag across the donor with family gathered at bedside and say a few words. After the remarks, the family takes the Donate Life flag down to the flagpole with chaplaincy, and the family helps fly the flag. It stays up for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, chaplaincy takes the flag down and mails it to the family as a keepsake.

Not only on this flag day, but every day, take some time to reflect on the true meaning of the flag, whatever flag that may be.