My Dad had a lot of respect for the American flag. I think it was because he was a Korean War veteran. While I was growing up, he had a small poster on the wall of the garage which he called “the flag rules”. It spoke to exactly how to display the flag, how to handle the flag, and how to fold the flag, but the main section showed the days when the flag should be displayed. My Dad followed the flag rules.
Flying the flag makes me think about holidays. In the U.S., we all have the same nine paid holidays each calendar year. Some of those nine aren’t on actual holidays. For example, Independence Day was on Thursday, July 4th but we also got Friday the 5th off as a paid holiday. The nine holidays are shifted a bit every year to make up some good 3- and 4-day weekends.
Now, this is pretty cool: in addition to the nine paid holidays, Intel also offers a floating holiday. What’s a floating holiday? It’s a holiday that YOU choose. Some employees have special days that they want to take off of work to celebrate or recognize personal, religious, patriotic or historical people or events. What if Intel didn’t pick those employees’ special day as one of the nine? In the past, employees would have to take a vacation day. Now? Answer = floating holiday.
You just have to get your manager’s agreement that you can take off that particular day, and – boom – you just made your own holiday. It turns out that one of the days when the flag should be displayed is June 14th, Flag Day. My Dad flew the flag every Flag Day and I have upheld that little tradition in my family. A lot of courageous people paid the ultimate cost for our Flag, so choosing a day to honor it seems more than appropriate. In 2014, I’m thinking of taking Flag Day as my floating holiday to honor the Flag and my Dad. And because I work at Intel, I will get paid as I keep calm and flag on.