Nestled between Memorial Day and Independence Day is the often ignored Flag Day. I’ll admit it: I turned to Google to figure out when it falls (June 14), but I think ignoring it would be a mistake. The day provides a wonderful opportunity to talk about the American Flag itself between the two higher-profile patriotic holidays. Finding eco-friendly American flags is certainly a challenge, however. Flag companies that have been in business for decades—and for well over 100 years in a couple of cases—are starting to make green American flags, but I think this day provides an excellent teaching and DIY crafting opportunity to share with your little ones.
MAKE YOUR OWN ECO-FRIENDLY AMERICAN FLAGS
In preparation for Flag Day this year—it falls on the same day every year, by the way—run to your favorite craft store and pick up a few supplies to make flags with the kids. Organic cotton fabric, wooden dowel rods, eco-friendly paints and your favorite adhesive are all you need for these fun crafts. You’ll only need a yard or two of cotton fabric, depending on how big you want your flags to be. I’d plan for fabric segments about one foot by two feet in size for each kiddo, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Spread some newspapers out on the grass out back and set each child up with a paint station. Abe’s Market has some fun non-toxic, natural paints made from fruit and vegetable pigments that you mix with water yourself, if you’re looking for vegan and gluten-free paint options.
As they paint their own flags—and I would certainly encourage individual creativity if I were organizing this craft—be sure to discuss the meaning behind the colors and symbols on the flag. Talk about the stars and the stripes to lead to a better understanding of what the flag means. Then on Independence Day a few weeks later, ask them what they remember about the flag to reinforce learning.
Allow your flags to dry and then attach them to thin wooden dowel rods. Display them in your front yard for all to see. This is one of those projects that can be expanded for classrooms and church groups too.
WHERE TO PURCHASE ECO-FRIENDLY AMERICAN FLAGS
If you’re just too busy to make your own American flag, check out CF Flags. They boast the first green American flag made from recycled plastic. Similar in feel and weight to heavy duty polyester flags available at most retailers, those made by CF Flags—which has been producing American Flags since 1898—are durable and can be used outdoors or indoors.