Today is Flag Day. What does it mean to you?…Part One


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Flag Day, is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, and for America.

The American flag is a source of American history, legend, unity and respect. Through the years the number of stars in the canton has increased with the addition of new states, and the meaning of the flag has expanded to unimaginable heights. From its unofficial beginning as the Continental Colors or Grand Union flag to the long serving 50-star American Flag, Americans have been on a quest to protect, preserve and serve the flag. Today the flag flies everywhere from classrooms to federal buildings to homes and even cars. It’s internationally recognized in every country and city around the world.

But, how many of us really know the history of our grand ole flag?

The following is taken from the Evolution of Our Flag:

1775-1777 - Continental Colors

1775-1777 - Continental Colors

Continental Colors
• Also known as the Grand Union flag, the Union flag, the Continental flag, the Somerville flag and the Great Union
• Designed with a British Union Jack in the canton and 13 alternating red and white stripes
• Considered to the be the first American flag, but it was never official
• The Maritime Committee of Continental Congress considered it the official flag of the American naval forces

1777-1795 - Betsy Ross Flag

1777-1795 - Betsy Ross Flag

Betsy Ross Flag
• First official flag of the United States
• Designed with 13 stars and 13 stripes to represent the 13 colonies (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island)
• Since Congress did not specify dimensions, proportions, shapes or star patterns, flags varied dramatically
• Legend says that Betsy Ross designed and sewed the first American flag, but most historians disagree
• The person who sewed the first flag is unknown, but the designer is thought to be Francis Hopkinson
• The Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution of 1777 on June 14, 1777 making the Betsy Ross flag official
• This date is now celebrated annually as Flag Day
• The only president to serve under this flag was George Washington

1795-1818 - 15 Star Flag

1795-1818 - 15 Star Flag

Star Spangled Banner Flag
# Designed with 15 stars and 15 stripes to represent the 13 original states plus Kentucky and Vermont
# Made by Mary Pickersgill and her daughter
# In 1812 the flag was flown over Fort McHenry, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner poem, which was put to music to become America’s national anthem
# The Star Spangled Banner is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History
# George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe all served under this flag.

1818-1819 - 20 Star Flag

1818-1819 - 20 Star Flag

20-Star American Flag
• Also known as the Great Star Flag and the Flag of 1818
• Congress passed the Flag Act of 1818, adding five new stars to the flag and reducing the number of stripes from 15 to 13
• The five additional stars represented Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi
• This flag was designed by Navy Captain Samuel Reid
• James Monroe was the only president to serve under this flag.

1819-1820 - 21 Star Flag

1819-1820 - 21 Star Flag

21-Star American Flag
• One star was added with the admission of Illinois to the Union
• James Monroe was the only president to service under this flag.

1820-1822 - 23 Star Flag

1820-1822 - 23 Star Flag

23-Star American Flag
• Two stars were added to the flag for the admission of Alabama and Maine
• When Alabama was admitted in 1819, the free and slave states were balanced, but with the addition of Maine, the Union held a majority of free states
• James Monroe was the only president to serve under this flag.

1822-1836 - 24 Star Flag

1822-1836 - 24 Star Flag

24-Star American Flag
• One star was added to the flag for the admission of Missouri
• The name “Old Glory” spawned from a 24-star flag flown by shipmaster Captain William Driver
• The flag, which was given to him by his mother and friends, became famous by the time of the Civil War
• Driver, who lived in Tennessee, was afraid the flag would be seized by Confederate forces, so he hid the flag between layers of his comforter
• In 1860 ten more stars were added to the flag for the admission of new states
• Today Old Glory is one of America’s greatest treasures
• James Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson served under the 24-star flag.

1836-1837 - 25 Star Flag

1836-1837 - 25 Star Flag

25-Star American Flag
• One star was added to the flag for the admission of Arkansas
• Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren served under this flag.

1837-1845 - 26 Star Flag

1837-1845 - 26 Star Flag

26-Star American Flag
• One star was added to the flag for the admission of Michigan
• Sailing under a 26-star American flag, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes led the first American expedition to explore Antarctica
• Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and James Polk served under this flag.

1845-1846  - 27 Star Flag

1845-1846 - 27 Star Flag

• 27-Star American Flag One star was added to the flag for the admission of Florida
• James Polk was the only president to serve under this flag.

1846-1847 - 28 Star Flag

1846-1847 - 28 Star Flag

28 Star Flag
• The 28th star was added to the flag when the United States annexed Texas; an action that would spawn the Mexican-American War
• This was the first war in which American troops carried the flag into battle
• The United States defeated Mexico and gained land that would become New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California and most of western Colorado
• James Polk was the only president to serve under this flag.

1847-1848 - 29 Star Flag

1847-1848 - 29 Star Flag

29 Star Flag
• One star was added to the flag for the admission of Iowa
• James Polk was the only president to serve under this flag.

About Robert P. Garding

I am a Reagan Conservative, who is very alarmed at the Liberals who have just lost their majority over our government, but continue to act like it never happened. They have to be stopped. NOW or even sooner.
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2 Responses to Today is Flag Day. What does it mean to you?…Part One

  1. Lauren says:

    Great article on the American flags!

    reply from Robert: Why thank you. It was something that I had to do, since I didn’t hear about Flag Day on any of the medias that day.

  2. Retha Coker says:

    Flag Day, is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, and for America.

    The American flag is a source of American history, legend, unity and respect. Through the years the number of stars in the canton has increased with the addition of new states, and the meaning of the flag has expanded to unimaginable heights. From its unofficial beginning as the Continental Colors or Grand Union flag to the long serving 50-star American Flag, Americans have been on a quest to protect, preserve and serve the flag. Today the flag flies everywhere from classrooms to federal buildings to homes and even cars. It’s internationally recognized in every country and city around the world.
    reply from Robert: This is so cool. I did this post quite a while ago, on June 14th, 2 years ago today. It is neat that this one is still being read cause remembering what our flag stands for is important. Thanks for the comment, thanks for reading.

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