It's a grand old flag
For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s unity, as well as a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. Here are the highlights of its unique history.
*On June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress passed an Act to establish an official flag for the new nation. The resolution ordered that "the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." On August 3, 1949 President Truman commemorated the occasion by officially declaring June 14th Flag Day. *While no one knows the exact origin of the first American flag, some historians believe it was designed by Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross.
*Between 1777 and
1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
*Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor; White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
An Inspiration to all...
*Amateur poet Francis Scott Key was so inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry after a British bombardment that he wrote the "Star- Spangled Banner" on September 14, 1814. It officially became our national anthem in 1931.
*In 1892, the flag inspired James B. Upham and Francis Bellamy to write the "Pledge of Allegiance." It was first published in a magazine called "The Youth’s Companion."
Traveling Far and Wide...
*In 1909 Robert Peary placed a flag sewn by his wife at the North Pole. He also left pieces of another flag along the way. It is the only time a person has been honored for cutting the flag.
*In 1963, Barry Bishop placed the flag on top of Mount Everest.
*In July 1969 the American flag was "flown" in space when Neil Armstrong placed it on the moon.
*The first time the American flag was flown overseas on a foreign fort was in Libya, over Fort Derne, on the shores of Tripoli in 1972.
Display It with Pride...
*The flag is usually displayed from sunrise to sunset. It should be raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously. In inclement weather, the flag should not be flown.
*The flag should be displayed daily and on all holidays, weather permitting, on or near the main administration buildings of all public institutions. It should also be displayed in or near every polling place on election days and in or near every schoolhouse during school days.
*When displayed against a wall or a window, the blue field should be uppermost and to the left of the observer.
*When the flag is raised or lowered as part of a ceremony as it passes by in parade or review, everyone, except those in uniform, should face the flag with the right hand over the heart.
*The U.S. Flag should never be dipped toward any person or object, nor should the flag ever touch anything beneath it.
Information source PBS.org.
Guidelines For Displaying The Flag
1. The flag of the United States should be flown daily from sunrise to sunset in good weather from public buildings, schools, permanent staffs, and in or near polling places on election days. The flag may be displayed 24 hours a day on patriotic holidays or if properly illuminated.
2. The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is bad, except when an all-weather flag is used.
3. The flag should always be flown on national and state holidays and on those occasions proclaimed by the President. On Memorial Day, the flag should be half staffed until noon.
4. The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously. It should never be dipped to any person nor should it ever be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress.
5. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, nor should it ever be carried flat or horizontally.
6. It should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, drapery, or decoration, nor for carrying or holding anything.
7. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged. It should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
8. The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle. When a flag is displayed on a car, the flag's staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
9. The flag or its staff should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. Nor should any picture, drawing, insignia or other decoration be placed on or attached to the flag, its staff, or halyard.
10. The flag should not be embroidered on cushions, handkerchiefs, or other personal items nor printed on anything designed for temporary use and discarded. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, or members of other patriotic organizations.
11. When the flag is so worn or soiled that it is no longer suitable for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.