It’s Flag Day in America! You pledged allegiance to it every day in grade school. You see it waving proudly on porches and government buildings. You can find it on display at almost every sporting event. What makes the U.S. flag such a renown symbol of patriotism and freedom? The American flag is not only a recognized motif of pride and hope both nationally and internationally alike; it is also a representation of our country’s rich history.
Old Glory contains 50 white stars and 13 horizontal red and white stripes. The stripes represent the original 13 Union Colonies, and the stars represent the 50 United States. The flag’s red symbolizes hardiness and valor, the white symbolizes purity and innocence, and the blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
The American flag was the inspiration behind The Star-Spangled Banner. Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem while he was detained aboard a British ship during the War of 1812. As he witnessed the 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry, the Red, White, and Blue inspired him to jot down the words of the well-known song.
Today’s date is significant for several reasons. On June 14th, 1775, Congress officially created the United States Army (or what was then called the Continental Army). Two years later, on June 14th, 1777, Congress officially adopted the United States flag.
Almost two centuries later in 1949, Congress formally established Flag Day. Although today isn’t a Federal Holiday, Americans fervently celebrate the occasion by participating in parades, displaying flags in their yards, and wearing patriotic garb!
Despite my Nebraska roots, many people point out that I pronounce flag like fleg (much like my friends from up north in Minnesota). Regardless, no matter where you are from or how you say fleg, Americans are united by our nationality and the freedoms we enjoy under the United States Constitution. Go out, grab a friend, run through a meadow, wave a flag, and celebrate the land where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly.