On this day in 1777 the United States flag was adopted. We celebrate this accomplishment and the adoption of the flag by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
The history of flags in the US dates back to 1775 when patriots flew the “Liberty Tree Flag” also known as “An appeal to heaven” that feature a white flag with a green pine tree. These were flown on American ships in New England. The Continental Navy and the Sons of Liberty flew similar that feature red stripes on a white background. The Navy’s include a serpent with the words “don’t tread on me”.
After a few variations were flown including the “grand union” flag, Betsy Ross sewn the first American Flag that feature the 13 stripes that we still have today, and a circle of stars. That official design adopted by the Congress, is still used today. Rather than 13 stars representing a constellation, it includes 50 starts, one for each state in the union.
This week is known as “Flag Week” and generally includes a presidential proclamation to fly the flag for the duration of the week. The week and today in particular is set aside to commemorate the 1777 adaptation of the official flag and its first time being flown to represent the United States.
It was not until 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson made the official proclamation and in 1949 the congress presently established this day as National Flag Day.
The US flag is an iconic symbol known across the world as a symbol of hope because of the liberty. The flag represents freedom for all people to live independent of a tyrannical government. It is this flag that has flown across the world for generations, carried into battle, hoisted above ships in hostile territory, and flown above embassies across the globe. It is this flag that has lost of millions to defend her freedom and sovereignty of what she represents. “Liberty and Justice for All”.
It is this flag that has eliminated oppressive regimes and allowed people to live free; regardless of skin color, gender, religion, or other differences. “Free, Free, Free Indeed”.
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“"I am the Flag"
by Ruth Apperson Rous
I am the flag of the United States of America.
I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia.
There the Continental Congress adopted my stars and stripes as the national flag.
My thirteen stripes alternating red and white, with a union of thirteen white stars in a field of blue, represented a new constellation, a new nation dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of mankind.
Today fifty stars signal from my union, one for each of the fifty sovereign states in the greatest constitutional republic the world has ever known.
My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country.
My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers and daughters.
My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all.
My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.
I represent these eternal principles: liberty, justice, and humanity.
I embody American freedom: freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press, and the sanctity of the home.
I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to my land by Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers – the Pilgrims, Puritans, settlers at James town and Plymouth.
I am as old as my nation.
I am a living symbol of my nation's law: the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.
I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy: "A government of the people, by the people,for the people."
I stand guard over my nation's schools, the seedbed of good citizenship and true patriotism.
I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my nation; every schoolyard has a flag pole for my display.
Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge their allegiance to me and my country.
I have my own law—Public Law 829, "The Flag Code" – which definitely states my correct use and display for all occasions and situations.
I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set aside to honor my birth.
Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow.
I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in trust for posterity.
If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if I am nullified and destroyed, you and your children will become slaves to dictators and despots.
Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.
As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country, remind yourself that I am the flag of your country, that I stand for what you are – no more, no less.
Guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the earth.
Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: "One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a battle for human liberty.
God grant that I may spend eternity in my "land of the free and the home of the brave" and that I shall ever be known as "Old Glory," the flag of the United States of America: