Being an American, there are some dates that we shouldn’t forget, like Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the one we mention today, the Flag Day.
It just a simple question to ask, but you may not even think about the answer. Let’s find out.
History of the flag
1775, the year that the American Revolution broke out. The colonists weren’t fighting united under one flag only. Instead, most soldiers participating in the war against the British fought under their flags.
In June of 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to create the Continental Army—a unified colonial fighting force. This led to the creation of the first “USA” flag, the Continental Colors.
However, this flag comprises of 13 red and white alternating stripes, and a Union Jack in the corner. George Washington soon realized that flying a flag, which was even remotely close to the British flag, was not a great confidence-builder for the revolutionary effort, so creating a new symbol of freedom for the soon-to-be fledgling nation is so much important.
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress took a break from writing the Articles of Confederation and passed a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
The very beginning of Flag Day
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson marked the anniversary of that decree by officially establishing June 14th as Flag Day, the day that you celebrate the anniversary of the stars, stripes, and glories!
Some people, some stories
To the USA flag, there were a lot of stories and glorious moments.
- Betsy Ross
Many people hold a belief that Betsy Ross, who assisted the Revolutionary War by repairing uniforms and sewing tents, made and helped design the first American flag.
However, there is no historical evidence that she contributed to Old Glory’s creation. It was not until her grandson William Canby held an 1870 press conference to recount the story that the American public learned of her possible role.
- Bernard Cigrand
A small-town Wisconsin teacher, originated the idea for an annual flag day, to be celebrated across the country every June 14th, in 1885.
Bernard, who later changed careers and practiced dentistry in Illinois, continued to promote his concept and advocate respect for the flag throughout his life.
- Bob Heft
A 17-year-old Ohioan student borrowed his mother’s sewing machine, disassembled his family’s 48-star flag, and stitched on 50 stars in a proportional pattern, explaining that he expected Hawaii would soon achieve statehood as well.
Heft also sent the flag to his congressman, Walter Moeller, who presented it to President Eisenhower after both new states joined the Union. On July 4, 1960, the president and the high school student stood together as the 50-star flag raising for the first time. Heft’s teacher promptly changed his grade from a B- to an A.
Protocol for flags
During the Vietnam War era, some demonstrators burned American flags as an act of protest. The Flag Protection Act of 1968 enacted in response. Making it illegal to burn or otherwise deface the Stars and Stripes.
20 years later, the Supreme Court ruled that the government couldn’t curb individuals’ First Amendment rights by prohibiting desecration of the U.S. flag. Respectful burning of damaged flags according to established protocol has always been acceptable.
Unlike setting an intact flag on fire, flying one upside-down is not always intended as an act of protest. According to the Flag Code, it can also be an official distress signal.
Despite the preponderance of “patriotic” gear, ranging from tee-shirts to swimsuits to boxer shorts. The Flag Code stipulates that the Stars and Stripes should not appear on apparel, bedding or decorative items.
Any burial that may incorporate the tradition of draping coffins in the American flag, and it not only for military veterans and government officials.
- While the American flags on display, there should have illumination by sunlight or another light source.
- When taken down from flag poles, they must keep from touching the ground. The American flag should always be aloft. Meaning that rugs and carpets featuring the Stars and Stripes are under prohibition by the Flag Code.
- When the flags of cities, states, localities, or groups are on the same staff as the American flag, Old Glory should always be at the peak.
- When flags of two or more nations displayed, they should be of equivalent size and flown from separate staffs of the same height.
- The Flag Code strictly prohibits adding an insignia, drawing, or other markings to the Stars and Stripes. Some American politicians have been known to defy this regulation by signing copies of the U.S. flag for their supporters.