Since today is Flag Day, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting flag facts and some information about flag etiquette with all of you.
- The first Flag Day is believed to have been celebrated on June 14, 1885 by the students of the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School.
- Flag Day is the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 by which our United States flag was born.
- We celebrate Flag Day, the anniversary of the Flag Resolution, every year on June 14th.
- President Woodrow Wilson officially declared Flag Day on May 30th, 1916.
- Flag Day wasn't really official until President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress on August 3rd, 1949, 33 years after Woodrow Wilson's Flag Day Proclamation.
- The Flag Resolution included an explanation of the meaning behind the colors, "White signifies Purity and Innocence; Red, Hardiness and Valor; Blue, Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice."
- As most of you know, Betsy Ross was the seamstress who sewed the first American Flag.
- The flag has 13 stripes, one for each of the original 13 colonies. It started with 13 stars, as well, which also represented the colonies. Until 1818, and additional strip and star were each added to the flag with the addition of each state. Eventually, it was pretty obvious that the scheme would have to change (I imagine that the stripes were getting pretty skinny!) Now the flag has 13 stripes to represent the 13 colonies and 50 stars, one for each state.
Flag Etiquette (just a few rules):
- The flag should NEVER touch the ground!
- The flag is never supposed to be used as a decoration. You should use buntings for this purpose.
- The flag shouldn't be carried flat.
- If flown with other flags, the U.S. flag should be highest. The only other flags that should be at the same level are the flags of other nations, if we are at peace.
- The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. It should only be displayed after dark if it is properly illuminated.
- The flag shouldn't be used for clothing, advertisements, or used for anything considered disposable.
- It is acceptable to wash and mend the flag if it becomes dirty or damaged.
- When the flag becomes faded, torn, or worn out, it should be disposed of properly, preferably by burning.
When you need to dispose of a flag, you can contact your local American Legion or Scout Troop. Many of these do regular ceremonial flag burnings.
I have a question... One of the etiquette rules is that the flag shouldn't be used for clothing or anything disposable. Does this literally mean taking a flag and chopping it up into napkins or using it as sewing fabric? I wonder because I've seen many swimsuits with an American flag pattern, as well as all sorts of cups, plates, napkins, tablecloths, etc. that are used for 4th of July celebrations. If anyone knows, let me know!
This morning, when I remembered that it was Flag Day, I ran outside to put up my buntings. Then, since I had a little time, I thought I would put out the rest of my patriotic decorations. Here's what my house is looking like now!