Today is Flag day. The anniversary of the national flag, which became known as the Stars and Stripes. I thought it would be fun to take some time and talk about this symbol of our great country.
On June 14, 1777, during the American Revolution, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution. This Resolved that “The flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” and that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white.” The flag was based on the Grand Union flag; a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes.
According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes at the request of General George Washington. Historians have never been able to conclusively prove or disprove this legend. There is no evidence to show that Betsy Ross and George Washington knew each other, however, her husband, George Ross, and Washington were acquaintances of George Read and he had frequent communication between the parties.
Ross owned an upholstery shop. An upholsterer would have been paid to sew flags since there was a sudden and urgent need for them. So this early version of an American flag is now commonly called the Betsy Ross Flag.
As our country grew and new states entered the United States after its independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.
June 14, 1877, was the first Flag Day observance. It was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. Congress instructed that the U.S. flag should be flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after, states continued to observe the anniversary.
In 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.
Today, we, too, honor our flag on this day. At a time in history when so many don’t see the need to salute Old Glory, please join me today in reaffirming its place of pride.
Pledge of Allegiance
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”