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Test out new ideas to see what works in honor of Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day!

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

The history of this day starts with the colloquial phrase “run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes”. The meaning behind the phrase is all about coming up with new ideas and then testing them out on others to see what happens. It’s similar to the notion “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks”.

This catchphrase got its start in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s when “men in gray flannel suits” worked as advertising executives at the ad agencies on Madison Avenue in New York. Think about the inspiration for the show Mad Men and that will hit the target fairly closely.

Although it is sometimes still used in a serious manner, the phrase is often considered cliché in modern times. The phrase “run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes” has been used in pop culture, by comedians who were mocking the advertising culture, as well as in films, such as 12 Angry Men. It can also be found in a few different songs by artists like Harvey Danger and Allan Sherman.

Having the celebration of Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day at the beginning of the year makes a lot of sense because it falls at the start of something new! It’s a time to come up with new ideas, test them out and see how they will go in this coming year.

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

Get on board with Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day by celebrating in some of these ways:

Try Out Some New Ideas

Even if the actual phrase isn’t used (though it might be fun to use it ironically to see if anyone catches on!), Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day is the right time to get creative and adventurous. Whether at work, in a volunteer organization or with family, this is the best day to be bold and clever. Even if it doesn’t ultimately work out as expected, at least you tried!

Listen to Some Recordings with this Iconic Phrase

Celebrate Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day by getting access to some copies of old recordings that use the phrase. For instance, try out some of these:

  • Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years. This comedy album by Freberg was released in 1961 and uses the phrase in satire form. 
  • When I Was a Lad by Allan Sherman. A parody album released by this American actor, musician and producer in 1963, this one comes from the same guy who released “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”. 
  • Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger. A more recent pop culture reference to the phrase, this 1997 song was released on the album Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? by this American Alternative Rock Band.

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