Does the 4th of July need a corporate sponsor?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Fourth of July.
Photo courtesy of

Who is the official sponsor of the 4th of July?

The celebration of the Fourth of July as Independence Day is uniquely American. In other countries, they mark their independence on different dates. People in some countries are conflicted or even downright ambivalent about independence day, they may be rid of a colonial or conquering power but they have not yet achieved any meaningful form of independence.

Regardless of the status of your freedom and rights, I suspect that you have seen plenty of commercial enterprises who want to become the official sponsor of most everything. We have Olympic sponsors. There are official beers, shoes, and cars for almost every event.

Do we, here in America, need an official sponsor of our Independence Day? Maybe we could pay off the national debt by auctioning off official sponsorships of this and other holidays. Is freedom insolvent and in need of an infusion of cash to prevent its demise?

The concept that our independence or freedom might be improved by becoming dependent on an official sponsor’s product is a bit confusing, but not much else about freedom makes any sense anymore.

There appear to be official sponsorships for sale on most every place or event that occurs. A sponsor can put their name on the local stadium or festival why not on a holiday?

A concerted effort to sell sponsorships might be extended to almost every social need.

How about an official sponsor for DUI’s? We have a number of unofficial sponsors but why not sell that right to one particular company?

How about official sponsors for prisons?  We seem to have self-proclaimed official sponsors of backyard barbecues and summer fun, though I am unsure who they paid to become an “Official Sponsor.”

I feel very certain that the signers of the declaration of independence had a clear idea of what they were declaring. From this hindsight position, there appears to be some confusion about just what independence means, let alone freedom.

I have my doubts that Samuel Adams or John Hancock expected independence to include a United colonial scribe listening in through their windows and recording their thoughts and words. Today, should those gentlemen have any progeny among us; those descendants routinely expect their government to listen in on their email and phone conversations.

Sometimes to protect freedom and independence you need to give up a lot of rights, or so we are told.

I do not recall any official sponsors of the constitutional convention or the declaration of independence. Perhaps we missed a bet?

In colonial times when the government extends an official right to be the exclusive supplier of something, this right was called a monopoly. That monopoly on tea is reported to have played a role in sparking America’s rebellion.

On my more cynical days, I am inclined to think that the American war of rebellion was also a war to preserve our uninterrupted access to drugs, stimulants in the form of tea.

Since monopolies have gotten a bad name we now call these exclusive rights by other names like “official sponsor” or “bidder’s preference.”

Those who are celebrating Independence Day here in America are not the only group who are moving towards selling official sponsorship rights. Neither the Pilgrims nor the followers of that Jesus guy had any plan, as far as I can see, to sell the commercial rights to their holidays but those days now would barely be functional without commercial sponsorships.

Despite all the apparent opportunities for a commercial sponsor on this Independence Day, I remain unconvinced that we will be any more independent or free for having an official sponsor or two for this celebration.

Having another furniture or used car sale by an official sponsor will not promote or establish anyone’s freedom.

Independence and freedom are bought and preserved by the sacrifices of patriots; however, you understand that patriotism, not bought and sold by the cash of official sponsors.

Here is hoping that each and every one of you is enjoying the blessings of freedom and independence on this day devoted to remembering what it cost to assure those rights.

(Personal aside: I wrote and scheduled this post on 6/30/13. Today while browsing I came across a website ad that said, – celebrate the Fourth of July – shop now. Someone is already into the holiday spirit or is it the holiday spirits?)

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

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3 thoughts on “Does the 4th of July need a corporate sponsor?

  1. David,
    Corporate sponsorship indeed. My limited understanding of our nations economics and how government is financed tells me that the founders, if they were alive today, might well be fighting and leading the Anonymous movement.

    The ideals on which our country was founded appear to have been misplaced by so many – the so called haves fighting to hold onto what they have and grasping for more while the have nots fight to maintain the basics of housing, food, utilities, and clothing.

    With those at all levels side tracking on scapegoating and stigmatizing anyone not of their same mindset and experience.

    Thanks for stopping by today and making your presence known. I’m glad you visited.



    • Thanks for your comment. Hopeful my sarcasm came through. About that “have and have not” thing- 67% of all Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. Most are one pay check away from being homeless. A lot of those who think they are “haves” are fooling themselves. Remember that for the first about 135 years we did not need an income tax here in America. The federal budget used to be covered with a surplus left over by selling off the land the federal government obtained by “treaty” from the Native Americans, that and duty on imported products. Glad to get to read your posts today. I have been a subscriber for a long while now and can see how great your writing has become. Keep up the fine work.


      • Thank you very much!

        I’m quite familiar with the paycheck to paycheck experience. Your sarcasm was perfectly placed, tongue in cheek.

        The irony that American independence was obtained and supported through the subjugation of oppressed, marginalized, and stolen people is not lost on me.

        The 4th of You Lie rally I chanced by was taking place again this year. I stopped by and connected with one of the people handling communications and offered my writing services.


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