American flags fluttering from front porches, local businesses, schools, and parks are ubiquitous across the country—especially in the summer months when the red, white, and blue is a focal point of celebrations from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
But it has not always been that way.
It was not until 1889, after the 100th anniversary of George Washington being sworn in as president, that anyone considered flying flags at places other than government buildings. And whom do we have to thank for that?
Certainly not one of our more prominent presidents, Harrison was our 23rd and served in the Oval Office at the time of Washington’s centennial. Celebratory events in New York included American flags in shop windows, something that simply had not been seen before. When it was over, Harrison suggested sending those flags to schools across the country “to develop an increased love for the flag at home and increased respect abroad.”
Such fascinating morsels about Harrison and other presidents can be savored at presidential homes, museums, and other sites across the Midwest. Some of the country’s greatest leaders, born and bred in the heartland, tapped into their Midwestern sensibilities to guide a nation.