Saturday is a Star Spangled Banner day.
Driving around the North and Northwest suburbs over the last 10 years I have noticed an increase in the number of homes displaying American flags.
Tomorrow is Flag Day. We asked residents, "Why do you display the American Flag?" and we found personal reasons as well as common themes of patriotism and national pride.
Ten-year-old twins Austin and Owen Tanabe of Arlington Heights said their family flies the flag in memory of the twins' grandfather, Gen. Bobby Robin, who died in 1985 while on active duty in Virginia. Gen. Robin is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.
Edna McCall, owner of The Flag Store in Crystal Lake since 1990, says she appreciates being able to display a large American flag on a pole at her home. "When I was a young child during World War II, we couldn't buy a flag anywhere, so the newspapers would print half-page flags and we would color them in and hang them up. They were everywhere, all the store fronts and houses," said McCall. "We all had someone in the war."
Nancy McCorvie has decorated the front of her Hoffman Estates home in red, white, and blue -- including several small American flags, a Statue of Liberty banner and a patriotic decorated chair. Even her door bell is shaped like a star on the American flag. "I was born on July 1st so up until age 3 I thought all the Fourth of July hoopla was for me," she says. "But I soon learned it was about the country uniting, so I have always loved the colors."
Jeff LeClere of Mount Prospect, a U.S. Marine who actively served from 1976 to 1980, said, "I fly the flag on D-Day and Pearl Harbor Day for the veterans in addition to the patriotic holidays -- Flag Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and the Fourth of July."
Sandy Miller, president and founder of The Mailbox and Flag Company in Mundelein, says their American flag sales have increase over the last three years, selling more than 300 locally in 2013. "Often parents whose children have joined the military come into our shop to purchase large flags for poles," she said.
Dr. Michael B. Schroeder, the former Arlington Heights mayor and current Wheeling Township supervisor, has a 25 foot-tall by 40 foot-wide American flag hung on the side of a building he owns on Arlington Heights Road since 1995. It's been replaced twice over the years, but "it's been a centerpiece in the village with firefighters, police officers and even wedding couples stopping by to get their picture taken in front of it," Schroeder said.
John Malcom of Arlington Heights displays the flag from his front porch daily to mark his service in the Army National Guard, 1967-1972.