There are pictures of it everywhere you look. There are songs written about it, or making mention of it. You will see it on the property of many homes, businesses, and churches. There is a pledge written specifically for it. Children learn about it in church and school at a very early age. The colors of it represent what America is all about. By now you have probably figured out that I’m talking about: the flag!
I don’t know about you, but I get a bit emotional when it comes to the symbols of patriotism, and the sacrifices made in order to establish the foundation that America was formed on. My husband and I took a trip to Washington D.C. in 2017. We just happened to be there over Memorial Day. We saw flags everywhere! Whether it was the parade, Arlington Cemetery, or the patriotic attire everyone was wearing, it gave me goosebumps. It also gave me a sense that something bigger than myself has given me the freedoms I have today. Below is some information I would like to share with you.
Flag Day established
On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress that read, “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” And then on August 3rd, 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress officially designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
Once the resolution passed, there were many attempts at a design. The layout of the stars wasn’t defined, and many patterns were used by flag makers. There could have been a ring of stars to symbolize the new constellation, which is what is called the “Betsy Ross Flag”. As states were admitted into the Union, it made more sense to make the stars into rows. In 1818 Congress enacted another Flag Resolution requiring that the number of stripes stay the same, but that the number of stars should always match the number of states. Any new stars would always be added on July 4th, following a state’s admission. The current design is the 27th, and the flag has been official since July 4, 1960. There are 50 white stars on a blue background, with 13 horizontal stripes (7 red, and 6 white) representing the original 13 states of the Union. The flag has alternative names of “Old Glory”, “Star-Spangled Banner”, and “Stars and Stripes”.
- The flag is considered in itself a living thing.
- Do not allow it to ever touch the ground or floor.
- Do not fly it in bad weather, unless it is an all-weather flag.
- Only fly it at night if properly illuminated, otherwise only from sunrise to sunset.
- Not to be flown upside down, unless it is a signal of an emergency
- When covering a casket, the stars should be at the head and over the left shoulder. It should never touch the ground or be lowered into the grave.
- Display at polling places on election days and at schools when school is in session.
- White signifies purity and innocence, red represents hardiness and valor, and the blue implies vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
As you fly your flags this year, keep all of this in mind. And never forget this iconic symbol, and all the history it represents.
You’re a grand old flag
You’re a high-flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave
You’re the emblem of
The land I love
The home of the free and the brave
Ev’ry heart beats true
Under red, white and blue
Where there’s never a boast or brag
But should old acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.
As a Web Merchandiser for Mardel, I write on Gifts, Jewelry, and Apparel for our web site. I write from the heart of being a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and Women’s Ministry Coordinator at my church. More than anything else, I love the Lord.