Each year on June 14th, Americans (well, some of them / us) celebrate flag day - the day the Stars and Stripes were officially adopted as our national flag - June 14, 1777 to be exact. It's our flag's birthday if you will. And like most birthdays, our flag's should be an occasion of respect and admiration, but also a little fun.
Below are links to a trove of interesting facts about our national symbol. Many are fascinating and some are downright fun. The pages linked to are a quick read. And, unless you're a true vexillologist, we bet you'll discover a few things that you never knew before. You'll probably also discover one or two things you thought were true that just might not have been so.
So, in the spirit of love for our flag:
Did She Or Didn't She?
For many, it's just an accepted fact that Betsy Ross created our first flag. (Didn't we learn about that in school???) Her story is a compelling and appealing, but it just might not be so. Find out how the story arose and make a few other fun discoveries here: Fun American Flag Facts and Myth Busters
You're Gonna Need A Bigger Telescope...
Know how many American flags have been planted on the moon? Know how many are still flying? (We use the term "flying" loosely here, since there's not any wind on the moon and the flag has to be made stiff so that it always "flies".) You'd probably have to have been alive in the 1960s and really interested in such things to know the answer to those two questions. But you can find the answer and learn a lot of other little know facts about the flag here: American Flag on the Moon and More
Another Holiday Would Sure Be Nice
On a more serious note, this page has a wealth of little fascinating insights about the flag. For example, do you know how many states celebrate flag day as an official holiday? (Hint: Not nearly enough of them!) Find the answer to that question as well as questions like, "Has the American Flag always had 13 stripes?" and "Who designed the current 50 star version of our flag?" (You might be surprised by this one.). Here are: 29 Facts About The American Flag
Now, Take a Moment For The Flag
As a living part of our national history, the American flag has certainly had an interesting past. It has evolved as our nation has grown. Will it change again? Hard to say. It certainly has a lot of stars on it now. But whatever the future brings, the Flag of the United States will continue to be much more than red, white and blue fabric and thread.
Our flag is a symbol that inspires people around the world. It stands for a unique nation in all of history. It speaks of our values, our unity and our diversity. There's a star there for every state and a stripe for each of the colonies that started it all.
Since its adoption, this assembly of colors, fabric and thread has been the rallying point for every crisis our great nation has ever faced. In times of pain and conflict it has symbolized all that we hope for. It has also been there for countless celebrations and victories. It binds us to our past and lights the way of the future.
On June 14th, wish Old Glory a happy birthday. Take a moment to reflect on all that she represents. No need to send a gift. ;-) Our flag is, after all our gift to ourselves.