Old Glory, Stars and Stripes, Our Symbol of Patriotism

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With Memorial Day upon us, Flag Day in June and the Fourth of July just around the corner a blog on Old Glory seemed appropriate. The origin of the first flag is unknown.  Some believe the flag was designed by then New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Betsy Ross.  The first American flag, red and white thirteen alternating stripes and a field of blue with thirteen stars. The number thirteen representing the thirteen colonies.  The flag was first authorized by congress on June 14, 1777, this date is now observed as Flag Day.

Defining the colors of the flag: Red is for valor, zeal and fervency; white is for hope, purity, cleanliness of life, and rectitude of conduct; blue, the color of Heaven, for reverence to God, loyalty, sincerity, justice and truth. The symbolism of  the flag was interpreted by George Washington:  “We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty”.

Displaying the flag.  The flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset on flagstaffs out in the open.  When the flag is displayed for 24 hours a day it should be illuminated at nightfall.  The flag may be flown at half staff following the death of the president, former presidents, vice-president, Supreme Court Justice, member of Congress, secretary of an executive or military department.  The president or a state governor are the only people allowed to order the flag flown at half staff.

The flag embodies the essence of patriotism, the spirit of the American nation.  Heroes have died for it.  The flag represents the history of the American people. The flag inspired The Star -Spangled Banner written by Francis Scott Key, in 1814 now our national anthem.  In 1892 the flag inspired James B. Upham and Francis Bellamy to write The Pledge of Allegiance.

Memorial Day, Flag Day and The Fourth of July are not just for family, friends and barb-o-ques.  They are days to look back at the history of our wonderful and free nation and to thank all the individuals who had a vision of a freedom, and the men and women past and present, alive and deceased that worked to keep us free.  God Bless America, Land that we Love.

 

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