During the American Revolution in 1775, colonists were fighting under multiple flags rather than uniting under one. The Second Continental Congress met in June of 1775 to create a unified colonial fighting force. Thus the Continental Army was created, under the first “American” flag, the Continental Colors. Many thought this was too similar to the British flag, so George Washington set out to create a flag that would boost morale by acting as a symbol of freedom. On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white…the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” President Woodrow Wilson then established June 14, 1916, as Flag Day to honor the date of the creation of the United States flag. Many people don’t even know it exists, so here are some reminders that Flag Day is June 14th.
Did You Know?
Flag Day Fact #1 – Many believe that Betsy Ross had a hand in creating the first American flag. Although her grandson recounted a story in 1870, there is no real historical evidence that suggests she was part of the founding of the new symbol of a united nation. The idea that she was involved stemmed from her help during the Revolutionary War, where she mended uniforms and sewed tents.
Flag Day Fact #2 – Protesters began burning flags during the Vietnam War which led to the Flag Protection Act of 1968. This made it illegal to burn the United States flag, and to deface it in any way was also banned. However, 20 years later the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not revoke one’s First Amendment rights by prohibiting an individual from violating the flag itself. “Respectful burning of damaged flags” has always been acceptable even before this ruling.
Flag Day Fact #3 – “Etiquette calls for American flags to be illuminated by sunlight or another light source while on display.” So if you have one out front, you may want to beautify your landscaping and add some new lighting to show some respect to our flag. Make sure yours is flying high for Flag Day on June 14th!
Flag Day Fact #4 – You probably see a lot of “patriotic” clothing and accessories when you are out and about each day. However, the Flag Code states that the Stars and Stripes should not be used on apparel or for decoration. In fact, even articles of clothing with the flag on them are considered flags themselves and should be handled with the same respect. All in all, we as a nation have been violating this rule for a long time.
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