Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

A Time To Show Love Of Country


July 2, 2020

Daria Anderson-Faden / The Observer

Old Glory flaps in the wind at its familiar home in Gotte Park.

At certain times throughout our history, patriotism has been stronger than at other times but since 911, patriotism has skyrocketed.

Memorial Day, Flag Day and July 4 are perfect examples and ways to show your love of country.

"Flags are a reminder of the freedoms we enjoy as American citizens and Nebraskans," Nebraska Secretary of State Robert B. Evnen stated, "a symbol of ourselves."

Flag Day originated in 1885 and of course July 4 has been around since the inception of our country in 1776.

The United States flag has standard etiquette, which many people are unaware of or simply forget. Everyone knows that the flag cannot touch the ground or be flown at dark without being illuminated. No other flag can be flown above or higher than the national flag. The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

Perhaps the most common mistake is the method in which the flag is displayed against a wall or in a window. The union or field of blue should be at the top and to the flag's own right-to the observer's left.

Flag and country have always been near and dear to the hearts of Americans, but even a hundred years ago there were individuals who created controversy over the flag or patriotism.

The Western Nebraska Observer had a story in the January 3, 1918, edition of the paper about George W. Davis of the Potter area, who was always making pro-German remarks and socialist comments, this during World War I.

Potter residents took the manner into their own hands. Here's an excerpt from the story:

"The way Potter feels toward this class was demonstrated last Monday when George W. Davis, a farmer living east of town, was struck several blows in the face by prominent men of the town, a rope placed about his neck and forced to buy $1,000 worth of Liberty bonds, give $100 to the YMCA and a like amount to the Red Cross."

The article continued, "Last Saturday he made an unpatriotic remark in the post office and was knocked down by a citizen of the town. The news spread rapidly and Davis was released by kissing the American flag. Paying a fine of $20 and publishing an apology in the Potter paper."

Another article in the Western Nebraska Observer about flag flying was reported in the July 24, 1919 edition. The story was about a farmer northeast of Sidney: "It was reported here today that Federal officials are on their way to Sidney, Nebr. Where it is alleged that Peter Stevens ... celebrated the Fourth of July by flying a German flag on his premises throughout the day. According to United States Attorney T.S. Allen, Stevens, will be prosecuted under the espionage act, Germany still being an enemy country."

This incident took place even after World War I had ended in November of 1918.

So things weren't always calm, cool and collected a hundred years ago, but there was no social media to make the incident go viral.


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