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Paul Bunyan Day? A Tribute to Flannel!

Today… A guest blog post from the Steelers Mascot, Steely McBeam!

#NationalPaulBunyanDay means what to any regular person? What other than any topic can be declared a national day? Nothing like first selfie day, or national dog day, but first appearing in print in 1906, in a story published by Northern Michigan journalist James MacGillivray, Bunyan’s character originated in folktales circulated among lumberjacks in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada.  It is a story about a burlesque dude in flannel.

Why is flannel still a staple?  Once known as the fabric of winter, the warm and cozy selection for warmth when needed.  Then the flannel became the uniform of a Southern rebel rouser who spit tobacco and was at the wrong place at the wrong time. At some point in the late 70’s, its bright red and plaid design was indicative of a construction era, a dignified cold weather friend to any laborer.

But the piece remained known as a hunter’s dream, easily recognizing any stalker of prey.  Then, during a dazed and confused decade full of people contemplating how to define the 90’s, the flannel was reinvented and put back on the map as a fashion statement.  While people listened to Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana in their basements, the flannel was resurrected and donned the grunge staple.  Just what Paul Bunyan hoped for I am sure.  That novel writer in the early 1900’s had little knowledge that Paul Bunyan’s legacy would resort to a staple that spans different fashion eras of past and present.

And to think, all this fashion, fabric, color, pattern knowledge from a guy who wears black and gold daily.  Don’t expect a Paul Bunyan original with a Let’s Go Pens design here.  But nonetheless embrace the day, every day–even Paul Bunyan Day, Ya Jagoffs!