On June 14th, people around the United States celebrate and recognize the flag of our country. Many years ago, as far back to the 20th century, Americans took the meaning of our flag very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that there is even a code of ethics for our flag! Some of the rules are included in the following:
– Our national flag may not be used for advertising.
– Our national flag may not cover any monuments or ceilings.
– Our national flag may not be folded when it is being displayed.
– Our national flag must not be written on.
– Our national flag must not be lowered on a ship unless only slightly to greet another ship.
It wasn’t until 1912 that the United States actually had a standardized flag, which was originally called “Stars and Stripes,” or also “Old Glory.” Not to mention, our flag is the most complicated flag to make in the entire world as it requires 64 pieces of fabric to make!
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress announced the adoption of our national flag. People started hanging flags at all of the government buildings to honor the adoption of the flag.
However, it wasn’t until June 14, 1893 that was claimed to be the first observation of Flag Day which was celebrated in Philadelphia, PA. It was later made into an official holiday in 1949 when then president Harry S. Truman made its declaration.
In 1812, lawyer Francis Scott Key was inspired by our flag when he saw that it had survived through war between the British and the Americans in Baltimore Harbor. He eventually wrote a song that became famous (and still is famous in our society!) which is known as “The Star Spangled Banner,” and more so known as our National Anthem.
To this very day, many different ways of honoring and respecting our American flag take place every day. Most elementary schools have their students pledge to the flag at the beginning of each school day. Also, at many large public events, especially sporting events, the national anthem is either played or sung (ie., the Superbowl).
Celebrating our flag not only provides the opportunity to appreciate how it came to be, but it also encourages the bonding between fellow Americans by displaying our pride for our flag and for the greatness of our country!
For more information on Flag Day, visit www.about.com.