Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes Day – January 2, 2022

Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes Day falls on January 2 every year. It’s quite fitting for this day to occur at the start of a new year as the phrase, “Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes,” means to test out new ideas. You could have a million ideas buzzing through your head, but it’s advisable to go to someone and get genuine feedback, and this will help you take the next step to flesh them out in detail.

History of Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes Day

We always have ideas running in our minds — a style makeover, a professional project, a personal hobby — but we often worry about how others will receive the idea. We fear rejection and criticism. However, we can always rely on a trusted source to run our ideas by and see if they fly.

Run up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day celebrates the phrase to describe this very process. The phrase gained popularity in the United States between 1950 to 1960. It was widely used in advertising and print media, linked to the advertising agencies in Madison Avenue, New York City, where ad professionals often sat to brainstorm and then spitball their ideas. In that same period, comedians started using it to mock corporate culture, and now, it’s considered cliché. There are similar phrases that mushroomed later, expressing the same concept, such as “Send up a trial balloon,” or “Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks,” or “Drop it in the pool and see if it makes a splash.”

On this special day, be your most creative self. Seize this opportunity to generally test new concepts. This holiday exists for people to share new ideas and try new things. Aim to celebrate it by doing just that, and don’t let your fears hold you back. The worst that could happen is you will come up with a new, improved idea. It doesn’t even have to be serious business or career ideas. Try out a new outfit or a different hairstyle, or get humorous with it and buy a new flag to run up your local flagpole, and see if anyone notices!

Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes Day timeline

19th Century
The Expression is Coined

American advertising executives coin the expression, "Run up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes."

1961
Stan Freberg’s Comedy Album

"Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years" features the use of the phrase, “Run it up the flagpole... see if anyone salutes.”

1963
Allan Sherman’s Parody

Allan Sherman captures the essence of this idiom in the lyrics of ‘When I Was a Lad.’

1997
Harvey Danger’s ‘Flagpole Sitta’

The alternative rock band Harvey Danger uses the phrase in their song ‘Flagpole Sitta.’

Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes Day FAQs

Where does the saying "Run it up the flagpole" come from?

It is an allusion to raising the American flag up a flagpole. The assumption is that if people respect it, they will salute it. 

Do "run it up the ladder" and "run it up the flagpole" mean the same?

No. “Run it up the ladder” means to become more and more successful or influential. Another way to say it is to “move up the ladder.”

Where is the tallest flag in America?

The largest American flag flies in Gastonia, North Carolina, about 20 miles West of Charlotte, just outside the Crowder’s Mountains. The flag is 114 feet wide and 65 feet tall; 7,410 square feet in size.

How to Celebrate Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes Day

  1. Run an idea past someone

    If you’ve been brewing some ideas for work or a personal project, today is the day to put it out there! Find a family member or friend whom you can trust to give unbiased feedback. Share your thoughts with them and listen to what they have to say.

  2. Give feedback on someone’s idea

    Help a friend, sibling, or relative out with their idea(s). If it's any good, give them encouragement and validation. If their idea could do better, provide your feedback and show them how they can add value to it.

  3. Read a self-help book

    Many entrepreneurs and tycoons have written business books. Pick up one of those to help you understand how to think and come up with better ideas. The books can teach you other essential life lessons that can be applied to succeed in your personal and professional life.

5 Important Facts About Flagpoles

  1. World’s highest flagpole

    The world’s highest free-standing flagpole is in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and it stands at 541 feet.

  2. America’s tallest flagpole

    At 400 feet tall America’s tallest flagpole stands in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, erected by Acuity Insurance.

  3. Flagpoles are metallic

    Flagpoles are made of aluminum.

  4. Number of flags on a pole

    In the military, there can be no more than two flags on a pole.

  5. Wooden flagpoles

    The first flag poles were made from wood.

Why We Love Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes Day

  1. It encourages you to face your fears

    Putting your ideas out in the open can be scary and intimidating. This day helps you face your fears. It’s always a good idea to get an opinion, a fresh perspective, on your idea, to give you more confidence in it later.

  2. It promotes creative thinking

    Knowing there is a day to celebrate your ideas and get an opinion on them promotes creative thinking. It encourages us to think of more ideas by optimizing our creative juices.

  3. It enables critical thinking

    Constructive criticism pushes us to think more critically and provide feedback that will actually help and motivate. It exercises our minds as well.

Run Up the Flagpole and See If Anyone Salutes Day dates

YearDateDay
2021January 2Saturday
2022January 2Sunday
2023January 2Monday
2024January 2Tuesday
2025January 2Thursday

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