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10 Facts You May Not Know About Our Flag

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On June 14 we honor Old Glory on National Flag Day.  This day commemorates the adoption of the United States flag on June 14, 1777.

On National Flag Day, Americans show respect for the U.S. Flag and what it represents.  Representing independence and unity, the Star Spangled Banner has become a powerful symbol of Americanism and is flown proudly.

While Betsy Ross has been given credit for stitching together the first American flag, there isn’t any sound evidence supporting the story.  At the same time, there isn’t any to disprove it, either. During Ross’s Revolutionary time, several standards were carried bearing red and white stripes and varying symbols where the blue field and stars now reside.

  1. Since 1777, the design of the flag has been officially modified 26 times.  For 47 years, the 48-star flag was in effect.
  2. In 1959, the 49-star version became official on July 4.  President Eisenhower ordered the 50-star flag on August 21, 1959.
  3. Seventeen-year-old Robert G. Heft of Ohio designed the 50-star American flag.  His was one f the more than 1,500 designs that were submitted to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 
  4. Flag Day was invented by a teacher. Nineteen-year-old Bernard J. CiGrand walked into his one-room schoolhouse in Wisconsin in 1885, stuck a 10-inch flag in an inkwell, and asked his students to write an essay on its meaning. CiGrand spent the next 50-ish years writing in support of making Flag Day a national holiday.
  5. The colors of the American flag are symbolic. The red stands for valor and hardiness. Blue stands for justice, perseverance, and vigilance. White stands for innocence and purity.
  6. People sometimes refer to the American flag as ‘Old Glory’. The term was first used by Captain William Driver in 1831. He was a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts and called the flag Old Glory after being given a flag by friends.
  7. The American flag is also referred to as ‘Stars and Stripes’, which is a common nickname referring to the flag’s design.
  8. There are six American flags located on the moon. Apollo crews 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 planted the flags on the moon.
  9. Flag Day is also the same day as the birthday of the United States Army.
  10. The First Flag Was Commissioned With A Payment Of “Three Strings Of Wampum.” By 1777, the U.S. was still waffling on the exact look of its flag. This was a cause for concern for Thomas Green, an American Indian who wanted the protection of an official flag while traveling through treacherous territory to Philadelphia. Thomas asked for help from Congress, throwing in the aforementioned payment to sweeten the deal. Within 10 days, a resolution was passed, finalizing the flag as a creation with 13 stars and 13 stripes. The date: June 14th, 1777.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Soft Schools

Noodle

Tillamook County Pioneer

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An experienced TV News manager, Mark Young is highly regarded as one of the most well respected and trusted media leaders in Florida. In over 40 years in the broadcast industry, Mark has managed news operations in small and large markets throughout the United States. As Broward Bureau Manager for CBS4 News, Mark was responsible for all news developments throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Mark now oversees the daily publication of two online news sites “South Florida Reporter” and “Southwest Florida Reporter.”