Don’t forget FLAG DAY!

FLAG DAY – JUNE 14:   Flag Day was first observed in 1877, honoring the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States.  The 1777 Congressional resolution, approved by the U.S. Continental Congress, simply stated: “Resolved that: the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be thirteen stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation”.  After several decades of local and state celebrations, President Woodrow Wilson gave it official recognition by Proclamation on May 30th, 1916. Although there continued to be many community celebrations, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

 Flag Day is less celebrated in the United States than July 4th, American Independence Day. Why? Both holidays represent early American history, but in different ways.  July 4th, a federal holiday, celebrates an EVENT – independence of the thirteen colonies from the British Crown.   Flag Day, not an official federal holiday, celebrates a symbol of the ideals which America stands for. Whitney Smith, director of the Flag Research Center and the author of more than two dozen books about flags, says that although the horizontal stripes, and ring of stars simply denoted the number of states fighting for independence from the British crown, it also showed an early expression of those ideals   “. . .because the ring of stars is symmetrical, it is never-ending; it is equal in the sense that no star is any larger or has any greater significance than the other ones.” 

 Today, “Old Glory” is one of the most widely recognized symbols in the world.  It symbolizes many different things to the millions of Americans it represents.  For some, it is a symbol of unity and for some, a celebration of diversity.  For some it represents freedom from oppression and for others, a hope for freedom from prejudice.  To many older Americans, it is a reminder of victory over past conflicts.  For younger Americans, it is a symbol of hope for conflicts unresolved.  However one views the flag, and whatever emotion it evokes, there can be no denying it has a rich and fascinating history and that the ideals it symbolizes appeal to people all over the world.







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