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Friday, June 10, 2022

Flag Day - Bailey - Their Flag - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

With the current jump of gas prices, there's promotion of a "near-cation."  For some of my readers Three Oaks, Michigan, over in the far western corner of Michigan barely across the Indiana border, might qualify.  Their three day celebration of Flag Day is complete with what they call "The World's Largest Flag Day Parade" on Sunday.  All the flags shown at houses in still closer Clarkston and throughout even rural Oakland County starting with Memorial Day got me looking for stories and facts about Flag Day.  

Magnet from my refrigerator

 A magnet on my refrigerator from the History Channel led me to an article there, "What is Flag Day"  with "13 surprising facts about the American flag and how to properly display it."  (Be sure to drop down to the text.  At first a large black section appears which eventually becomes a two minute video.)

Beyond the factual, I wanted a story and found one by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey.  She's always attuned to her young readers and her little known book, Tell Me Another Story, from 1918 has a Patriotism section of three stories with today's story about how two children displayed their family's heirloom flag.  We aren't told if it dates back to the 35 star flag of the Civil War, but it would be logical to think it was the flag their great-grandfather carried.  I appreciate how Lincoln refused to allow the removal of any stars when the South seceded.  Beyond that, let's take the liberty of changing the time in the story from Washington's Birthday (when it's awfully cold for a parade!) and switch it to Flag Day.

Ever since Memorial Day our own entrance (or the entrance to our camper made in '76...1976, but decorated accordingly) has this Uncle Sam my husband made.  I've seen similar ones, but his holds Our Flag and will through the Labor Day holiday.


This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  

At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.

Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-

  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key.

  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.
    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"

The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:        

         - David K. Brown -

         - Richard Martin -

         - Spirit of Trees -

         - Story-Lovers - is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but the late Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at .  It's not easy, but go to snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.

       - World of Tales - 

           - Zalka Csenge Virag - doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.

You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!

    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin -  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a., when that becomes the only way to find them.

You can see why I recommend these to you. 

Have fun discovering even more stories

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