Debbie’s Daily Dose of Food for Thought
The stars and stripes of our flag are known round the world. Here is the first stanza of a poem to ponder and a few things to know about our flag and Flag Day.
“There’s a flag hangs over my threshold, whose folds are more dear to me
Than the blood that thrills in my bosom its earnest of liberty;
And dear are the stars it harbors in its sunny field of blue
As the hope of a further heaven that lights all our dim lives through.”
-- Julie Ward Howe (American Poet, 1819 – 1910)
According to timeanddate.com, the Continental Congress replaced the Grand Union flag with the first American flag on June 14, 1777. The new flag featured, “13 white stars in a circle on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes – one for each state.” It is not certain who made the first flag, but it might have been Betsy Ross. She was a Philadelphia seamstress who was an official flag maker for the Pennsylvania Navy.
Symbols on the Flag
The design on our flag, also know as “Old Glory” and the “Star-Spangled Banner,” has changed over the years. It now features “13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars.” Each star represents one of the 50 states and the 13 stripes stand for the first states in the Union, the original 13 colonies.
When Did Flag Day Become Official?
President Harry Truman proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day in August 1949. In 1966, Congress requested the week of June 14 become National Flag Week.
How to Observe Flag Day
Our flag represents our country and freedom. Many people display the American Flag at their home, office, or public building in honor of Flag Day. Read our story about proper and click here for more information about Flag Day and The National Flag Day Foundation.