Tagged: American flag

The American flag, often referred to as “Old Glory” or “The Stars and Stripes,” is a symbol of the United States’ history, ideals, and the sacrifices made for its freedoms. Its inception dates back to the early days of the American Revolution.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act, which stated: “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.” This act established the official flag design for the new nation, albeit with no specification regarding the arrangement of stars.

The flag has undergone changes corresponding with the country’s expansion. As states were added to the Union, both stars and stripes were added. However, in 1818, Congress enacted a law fixing the number of stripes at thirteen, to honor the original colonies, and only adjusting the stars to represent the number of states.

Major Facts:

  1. Colors and their Meaning: The flag’s red stands for valor, white symbolizes purity, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. However, these interpretations weren’t officially acknowledged until the 20th century.
  2. Star Arrangement: The 50 stars represent the current 50 states. Initially, there was no official arrangement for the stars, leading to various designs, including the circular pattern of the “Betsy Ross” flag.
  3. Changes Over Time: The American flag has changed 27 times. The 50-star version we know today was adopted on July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the 50th state.
  4. Flag Etiquette: There are certain protocols for displaying and handling the flag. For instance, the flag should never touch the ground, be flown upside-down (unless as a distress signal), or be used for advertising purposes.
  5. Flag Day: June 14th, known as Flag Day, commemorates the adoption of the flag. While not a federal holiday, it’s still celebrated in various parts of our nation.
  6. National Anthem: Inspired by the sight of the flag’s survival after the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key penned “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which became the national anthem in 1931.
  7. Retirement: When a flag becomes worn or tattered, it should be retired in a dignified manner, usually by burning.

In summary, the American flag stands as a powerful symbol of our nation’s journey, its trials, triumphs, and ideals.