Today is Flag Day. On this date in 1777, the Continental Congress officially approved the design of the U.S. flag as we know it today.
• But you knew that, of course. You paid attention in history class and it’s right there on your calendar, in small print.
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In adopting the flag the Continental Congress stated: “Resolved, That the Flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” It is interesting to note that the colors of red – white – blue did not have meanings when this resolution was adopted.
In 1818, after 5 more states joined the Union, the U.S. Congress passed legislation fixing the number of stripes at 13 and requiring that the number of stars equal the number of states.
• Smart thinking if you ask me. Have a plan, stick to it.
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In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14th as a national day of recognition for the flag. According to this declaration, the flag is to be flown everywhere on this day, not just on government buildings and schools.
In 1949, while President Truman was in office, the U.S. Congress established June 14 as National Flag Day. The next year on June 14th he proclaimed it as such. However, this does not make June 14th an official federal holiday so no one gets the day off from work because of this Act of Congress.
• I fail to see the reason why the U.S. Congress did what they did, but that’s nothing new.
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The U.S. flag has three nicknames: “Stars and Stripes” – “Star-Spangled Banner” – “Old Glory.” And as you can imagine, no matter what you call it, there are etiquette rules for flying the U.S. flag. Reading through them you will discover that We, The People, break these rules almost daily.
• I direct your attention to the Decorative section of the list. ‘Nuff said.
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In 1960, on July 4th, the last new star was added to the flag when Hawaii became the 50th state. That is the last time there has been a change to the U.S. flag itself. But there is more to the story than mere design changes. You see, on June 14, 2004, the U.S. Congress unanimously voted to declare that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Waubeka Wisconsin, thereby acknowledging another little known historical fact.
And with that I have nothing more to add to this report. ‘Tis time for me to go put my cute little red, white & blue flags in my large
blue green flower pots filled with dark pink geraniums, so that I can say that I’m [stylishly] observing this holiday.
• How about you? What are you going to do to celebrate Flag Day?
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