JUNE 14TH IS FLAG DAY! It’s a wonderful day for waving Old Glory and remembering all that the red, white, and blue has meant to our nation for so many years. It’s a celebration to enjoy, a run-up to the glorious Fourth of July, and the beginning of a summertime of picnics, swimming, sunning, and all things light and happy. This is the time to get out the flag and put it up, on a pole, on your car, even on your mailbox. Take your picture in front of it. Celebrate! All of us. Because we’re all in this together.
The American Flag’s design has changed 16 times since its inception on July 4th, 1777, but its basic framework has remained consistent. That is:
13 horizontal stripes alternating in red and white and representing the
original colonies/states, with the flag canton (upper left hand corner)
showing a collection of 5-pointed stars –one for each present state —
emblazoned in a blue field.
YOU CAN JOIN IN THE FUN OF FLAG DAY. LET AN AMERICAN FLAG FLY AT YOUR HOUSE OR WORKPLACE.
- Great for outdoor displays on a pole, this 34″ X 61″ polyester flag is great for all kinds of outdoor activities, from picnics to birthday parties.
- 6″ X 8″ flags on a stick can be small sized bombshells. Sell them in quantity to your business customers for all sorts of marketing benefits. They work wonders when paired with a business card and left on home owners’ front porches
Truth or Fiction?
LEGEND HAS IT Betsy Ross was commissioned by George Washington to help design and sew the first flag for the Continental Armies. Washington supposedly asked for a banner with six-pointed stars but Ross, it is said, wanted five-pointed stars because they could be made with just one snip of the scissors. Washington eventually beat the britches off the British, but he lost his encounter with Ross. Five-sided stars it was, and the American Flag was born!
–But, you might ask, did that actually happen? Well…nobody knows for sure. In fact, it is not even certain that Betsy Ross made the flag, even though she did sew banners for many groups.
THE PRESENT 50-STAR VERSION of the American flag has been in use since July 4th, 1960. It was designed in 1958 as a class project by an 18-year old student named Robert G. Heft. As it happens, his teacher didn’t think that much of the design, giving him only a B-minus for his effort. “Well,” he asked, “suppose it is chosen to be the new American Flag?” Laughing at the very possibility, his teacher agreed she would then “reevaluate” his grade.
As it turns out, Congress had a higher opinion of the design than Heft’s teacher, voting for it with enthusiasm. In 1959, by Presidential proclamation, a new American flag was ready to fly, and Heft’s grade was raised to an A, making everybody a winner!
FLAGS DON’T EVER SEEM TO LOSE THEIR LUSTER OR POPULARITY.
- Promote your flag collection to local schools, suggesting they give one to each student. Or
- Suggest to the school administration that small flags be awarded to young students who excel in specific subjects, such as reading or arithmetic.
The Stars and Stripes
FEW BANNERS ARE ASSOCIATED with such dramatic events as the American Flag. The country’s national anthem was based on a poem by Francis Scott Key and tells of the flag’s surviving a bitter nightlong bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, by the British Royal Navy during the War of 1812. It is a harrowing and yet thrilling verbal portrait!
A photograph of the flag being raised by five marines and a navy corpsman during the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II also dramatically documents an image of the flag, one that has been indelibly etched in the American consciousness.
–And who can ever forget the sight of the American Flag on the surface of the moon? Everyone, worldwide, has seen it!
In 2001, the visual history of the flag took a sad turn. Most Americans responded in disbelief to the picture of a tattered and torn American flag flying over the rubble and devastation of New York’s World Trade Center. Still, in silence and strength, it became an overnight symbol that America could and would endure.
REMEMBERING OUR MOMENTS OF FAME AND TRAGEDY, OPEN YOURSELF TO FLAG DISPLAY THIS YEAR. YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM MANY:
- An 8″ X 10″ flag is ideal for your work desk. You might also want to display it on the front dashboard of your car.
- An American flag tack pin. This small pin is similar to the one worn by the President and members of Congress following 9-11.