The American flag is a symbol of this great nation and the values and ideals of its people. It is a treasured beacon for all who gaze upon it and feel a sense of pride and awe at what it means to the people. When you display the American flag outside your home, you should always learn about the protocols surrounding the flag and also the history of this great symbol. The first flag was designed to symbolize the coming together of the 13 colonies in a historic union that would eventually lead to the final version that we know today. When those 13 stars and stripes were first placed on the fabric, no one could have known just how great and far the United States would be.
The USA Flag Has Been Changed 27 Times
The American flags you see today are not copies of the original flag designed in 1777 that had 13 stars and stripes for what was then the colonies of America. Many more states have been added to the patriot flag and each version of Old Glory has been changed to reflect the burgeoning country until it rested on the flag that currently has 50 stars and 13 stripes. The current flag is the only design that has lasted for over 50 years and it doesn't look like it is changing anytime soon. There is also a Betsy Ross flag which is a replica of the original flag USA designed by the great seamstress. The Betsy Ross flag is believed to be the first flag design of 1777 although there are some who don't agree. This flag features red stripes and the stars in the blue form a circle of 13 for the original colonies.
The Flag Can Be Displayed All Day and Night
By law, the flag needs to be displayed from sunrise to sundown and stored when there is no light left to display it. The flag is not supposed to be flown in the dark. However, it can be flown 24 hours a day if it is properly illuminated for that entire time. You will see some buildings that display the American flag around the clock and will have lights shining directly on it and around it so the entire area of fabric is lit up.
The Colors of the Flag Have Meaning
Red, white and blue weren't just chosen because they looked good together, these colors have symbolic meaning on the American flag.
Red - Valor and Hardiness
The red on the flag symbolizes valor and hardiness, which represent the ability to come through difficult circumstances and face danger with bravery and determination.
White - Purity and Innocence
The purity and innocence of white symbolize simplicity and freedom from moral wrong. It means the nation must always strive to be on the right heading morally and when on the wrong heading, should right itself immediately.
Blue - Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice
Blue stands for the constant struggle to persevere at being just, honest, and fair in all things. This must be done with vigilance because it is easy to stray from this path. The blue in the flag is a constant reminder that this great nation must always show integrity, fairness, and perseverance. Never has that been so important as the past few years with world events.
The Current Flag Was Designed by a High School Student
The flag as we have known it for the last 50 years was a submission in a contest started by President Eisenhower's administration in 1958. The winner was Robert Heft, a 17-year from Ohio who won out over 1500 other submissions. Good on you, Robert!
There is a National Day of Recognition for the American Flag.
The holiday known as Flag Day commemorates the Flag Resolution of 1777 when the first flag was made with 13 stars and 13 stripes. During the presidency of Woodrow Wilson in 1916, President Wilson proclaimed May 30th, 1916 to be the official Flag Day. This was to make a day official after people had been celebrating indiscriminately for years.
When you fly the American flag, you are displaying a piece of history that is very important to the US, so knowing a little bit about that history is very important. These are just a few of the important facts that surround the flag, but there are many more. Old Glory has a rich history that should be shared and honored just as the flag is when displayed.