The American flag that symbolizes our nation can be found flying at federal government offices, state government offices, cemeteries, cities, townships, VA facilities, churches, businesses and more. We fly it to show pride in our country and to honor those who have served to protect our freedom. But what many don’t realize is that it has had a colorful history. Here are some interesting examples from theNational Flag Foundation and theSmithsonian:
There have been multiple versions – 27 in all. It changed each time a state was added to the union, requiring a design change to accommodate the new star. The original flag had 13 stars and 13 stripes, representing the American colonies. Though it has retained the original 13 stripes, it reached 50 stars on July 4, 1960, when Hawaii was added.
The colors have meaning – The founding fathers chose these colors for what they represented, according to the NFF: red for valor and hardiness, white for innocence and purity, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
The design was detailed in the Flag Resolution of 1777 – According to the Smithsonian, the resolution declared that 13 alternating red and white stripes would represent the union. The 13 stars would be white on a field of blue, representing a new constellation.
There were two acts to change the design – The Act of January 13, 1794, designated that the flag would have 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795. The Act of April 4, 1818, provided that 13 stripes and one star for each state be added to the flag after a state is added by July 4th of the year after a new state is admitted.
Three executive orders were issued on the arrangement of stars or stripes – But only by two presidents. President Taft signed one in 1912, and President Eisenhower signed two in 1959, in January and August.
The current design was from a contest – 17-year-old Robert G. Heft submitted his winning design as a contest entry in 1958.
The flag can only be displayed in light – While Federal law states that the American flag can only be flown from sunrise to sunset, it stipulates that simulated light can allow it to be displayed for 24 hours.
Our current flag is the oldest – The current design from 1959 is the oldest. No other design has lasted more than 50 years.
The flag has its own holiday – Flag Day was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 as an annual celebration of the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777.
The Star-Spangled Banner is still around – Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner about an actual flag that flew at Ft. McHenry. It is displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, except for one 2″ x 5″ swatch, which was sold for $38,000 at an auction in 2011.
There is a common myth about the flag – Many people believe that if a flag touches the ground, it must be burned. The truth is that flags can be washed or dry cleaned if they touch the ground and get dirty.
Multiple American flags have gone to the moon – While most people are familiar with theiconic photo taken by Neil Armstrong on the moon of Buzz Aldrin beside the American flag, there were actually several other missions that planted a flag on the moon. They include Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17.
There is a proper manner of disposal – When an American flag can no longer be cleaned or repaired, it must be burned with dignity. The federal government, state government, cemeteries, cities and townships, VA, churches, and businesses can take advantage of community flag burnings on Memorial Day or Fourth of July.
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Kalamazoo Flags is a family-owned American flag company. We are an industry-leading provider of flags, poles, and accessories in the U.S. Our goal is to provide 100% customer satisfaction on every order and installation. We carry a wide variety of American flags and banners representing different materials, designs, and government offices.
Some of our historical design options include the Bennington or the Betsy Ross. We have flags for Washington’s Commander in Chief, the Coast Guard Ensign, and the Red Cross. Our Valley Forge flags are offered in both durable polyester and nylon to withstand wind and 24-hour display. With so many options, you will find the ideal flag or banner for your home or office.
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