In Lieu of the Presidential Election being less than two weeks away i thought a patriotic blog was needed to remind ourselves where we came from and what our Flag stands for. We have been a Nation for 240 years Our Founding Fathers were 500 years ahead of their time, and still today their writings are as modern as we are. I dedicate this to the men and women in uniform who have died so we may enjoy the freedoms that they gave their lives for.
On January 2nd 1776 the first unofficial national flag which was called the Grand Union was raised by George Washington near his headquarters in Boston Mass. The flag had 13 alternating red and white horizontal stripes and a British Union Flag in the upper left corner.
According to a popular story, George Washington and two other representatives in the Continental Congress called upon Betsy Ross a Philadelphia seamstress to ask her to make a new American Flag. This version of the events cannot be confirmed by historians, so nobody knows for sure who designed the flag, it was rumored that it was designed by Constitutional Congress Member Francis Hopkinson.
On June 14th 1777 the first official flag, also known as the Stars and Stripes or Old Glory was approved by the Continental Congress, ” Resolved, that the flag of the United States be 13 Stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be 13 Stars in white with a blue field, representing a new constellation “. The resolution did not state how the stars should be arranged, so the layout varied.
On January 13th 1794 Congress authorized two more stars with the addition of Vermont and Kentucky in 1791 and 1792, respectively. the 15th star, and 15 stripe flag which came into use in May 1795 was the “Star Spangled Banner” that inspired Francis Scott Key.
As daylight broke on September 14th 1814 Francis Scott Key saw the American Flag still flying over Ft. McHenry, after it had been bombarded all night by the British. Inspired, he wrote a poem entitled ” The defense of Ft. McHenry “, which was later set to music and renamed the ” Star Spangled Banner “. Congress made it our National Anthem in 1931.
On April 4th 1818 after five more states joined the Union, Congress passed legislation fixing the number of stripes at 13 and requiring the number of stars equal to the number of states. ( Each new star was to be added on the 4th of July following the state’s entry into the Union).
In 1912 after New Mexico and Arizona joined the Union on January 6th and February 14th of the same year, respectfully the flag had 48 stars, on June 24th President William Taft issued an executive order that established proportions of the flag and set the arrangements of stars in horizontal rows.
Om May 30th 1916 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Flag Day, a day of National Celebration.
On July 4th 1960 the last new star was added after Hawaii became a state.
So there you have it, a brief history of our National Symbol. It has stood the test of time representing out great Nation for the last 240 years, We can only pray it will stand the test of time for the next 240 years, it doesn’t matter where you started out in life, what matters you are here now. Be proud, that’s if the politicians don’t screw this up too!