Creation Of The American Flag

Interesting facts about the vreation of the American flag. Much has been written and pondered of the origins of the American flag.

On June fourteenth, seventeen seventy-seven, Congress authorized the famous stars and stripes design for the American flag. Although similar in style to Revolutionary war flags that had flown throughout the United States prior to this authorization, the Revolutionary flags took their design from British flags; this newly authorized flag was intended to represent the freedom that was unique to America.

History sometimes accedes that it was Betsy Ross (1752-1836) who made the first official American flag; but it is, in fact, unknown as to who designed the very first. Although Ross did indeed make flags for the government, one of which was known as the Cambridge flag of the Continental Army, the legend of her designing and sewing the first American flag cannot be verified.

Accepted with the thirteen stars and stripes in seventeen seventy-seven, two years later it was given fifteen, with the addition of Vermont and Kentucky into the growing union. The flag stayed unchanged until July fourth, eighteen-eighteen, when Congress restored the original thirteen stripes and ordered twenty stars, authorizing the addition of a star for each new state admitted to the union.

From eighteen-eighteen until nineteen twelve each flag produced showed the original stripes and the number of stars symbolizing each state of the union, its design of these stars and stripes left to the discretion of the flag maker. In nineteen twelve, President Taft ordered an official arrangement of the stars: six even rows of eight stars each, which is reminiscent of the flag we know today. Its design remained unchanged until the admission of Alaska and Hawaii; when Hawaii gained admission to the union in nineteen fifty-nine, the flag was officially changed for the twenty-sixth time since its original creation.

*Pledge to the American Flag

The Pledge of Allegiance, an oath spoken to uphold the honor and integrity of the American Flag, was first published in eighteen ninety-two in Boston. Authorship was attributed to James Upham and Francis Bellamy. In nineteen thirty-nine, the United States Flag Association ruled that it was Bellamy who could claim sole authorship of the pledge.

*National Flag Day

On August third, nineteen forty-nine, President Harry Truman approved a resolution designating June fourteenth of each year as National Flag Day.

*Some Firsts for the American Flag

November 1, 1777""at sea

The first flag was flown aboard the Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones, sailing from Portsmouth, New Jersey

August 16, 1777""at ground battle

The first flag to be flown over a battlefield, at the Battle of Bennington, Vermont

September 30, 1787 to August 10, 1790""around the world

The first American flag to be flown in a journey around the world, carried by the Columbia, sailing from Boston.

May, 1812""over a schoolhouse

For the first time ever, a flag was flown over a schoolhouse; Colrain, Massachusetts

July 20, 1969""on the moon

The first flag planted on the moon, by the astronauts of Apollo 11.

*Some Traditions of the American Flag:

The flag may only be flown from sunrise to sunset, with one notable exception. Until nineteen sixty-eight, a flag flew day and night over Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, where it had been raised by Marines during World War II. When the island was again returned to Japanese administration, it was replaced with a bronze replica.

The flag should be displayed near each polling location on election days.

When carried in a procession with other flags, the American flag must be hoisted at the highest point, not equal to or lower than accompanying flags.

The flag should be displayed at the unveiling of a national monument or statue.

The flag should fly at half-staff for thirty days from the death of an American president.

When no longer fit for display, the flag should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.

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