Caught Our Eyes: Of Flags and Flagging Attention

When I ran across this image recently, it struck me just how much parades and flags go together and, furthermore, how much people have experimented with displaying enormous flags. In this case, the flag was probably better seen from the photographer’s vantage point than by spectators on the ground.

Female film industry workers carrying a large American flag as part of an National Recovery Administration parade, New York City. Photo by World-Telegram staff photographer, 1933.http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c23321

Female film industry workers carrying a large American flag as part of a National Recovery Administration parade, New York City. Photo by World-Telegram staff photographer, 1933.http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c23321

As is so often the case, one picture led to another, and I found myself tracing Flag Day, celebrated in the U.S. every June 14th, through pictures.

The Harris & Ewing studio snapped several pictures at Flag Day exercises in 1914, a couple of years before President Wilson issued the proclamation that officially established June 14th as Flag Day. What tickled me about this one from a hundred years ago is the visual evidence it provides that then, as now, speakers don’t always command their audience’s full attention!

Flag Day exercises, State, War, and Navy Building. Wilson speaking; Bryan, Daniels, [Breckinridge Long], William Phillips, F.D. Roosevelt, etc. present. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1914. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.04395

Flag Day exercises, State, War, and Navy Building. Wilson speaking; Bryan, Daniels, [Breckinridge Long], William Phillips, F.D. Roosevelt, etc. present. Photo by Harris & Ewing, 1914. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.04395

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One Comment

  1. Gene Bowker
    June 14, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Happy Flag Day and thanks for the photos as always!

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