"The Stars &
Symbolism of the Flag
The U.S. flag is the most widely used symbol of America, representing the many
freedoms and rights guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of
Rights. Additionally, the flag symbolizes the patriotism, honor and courage of
all of you, our U.S. Veterans and military personnel, along with our individual
liberties stated in the Declaration of Independence. Many other powerful
meanings that define America are represented in our flag as well.
"We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country,
separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her,
and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty." - George
Flag Day - Brief History
On June 14, 1777, the Flag Resolution was passed by the the Second Continental
Congress, which stated:
"Resolved, 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."
Each year thereafter, June 14 has been known as Flag Day.
The U.S. flag consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and
bottom) alternating with white, representing the thirteen original colonies,
with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white,
five-pointed stars, representing our 50 states. Common names of the flag
include: "the Stars and Stripes" or "Old Glory."
The Continental Army at the Middlebrook encampment first hoisted our new flag in
June of 1777. The American flag flew in battle for the first time at Cooch's
Bridge in Delaware on September 3, 1777 during the American Revolutionary War.
Even to this day, the origin of the U.S. flag design is still uncertain. One
story credits Betsy Ross for sewing the first flag from a pencil sketch by
George Washington. However, no evidence exists beyond the recollections of what
she told her family, which have been reported by her descendents.
When design changes occur, the change always takes place on July 4 in
Philadelphia, Pa., stated by the Flag Act of April 4, 1818. The most recent
change - from forty-nine stars to fifty - occurred in 1960 after Hawaii gained
statehood in August 1959. Robert G. Heft's design was chosen.
Where the Flag is always Displayed:
- The White House
- The Washington Monument
- Fort McHenry - National Monument and Historic
Shrine, Baltimore, Md.
- Flag House Square - Baltimore, Md.
- U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial - Arlington, Va.
- And many other places of honor and history.