Flag Day
June 14th is the day set aside to honor the flag of the United States of America and all that it represents. I thought it would be fun to share some facts and trivia about the U.S. flag today.

Did you know. . .
  • that the story about Betsy Ross sewing the first official American flag is mostly myth?
  • that Robert Peary cut a flag into pieces and scattered them around the North Pole?
  • that the only time it is appropriate to fly the flag upside down is to signal an emergency?
  • that an expert in the history of flags is called a vexillologist?
  • that the phrase, "one nation under God," was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954?
  • that the original Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and Christian Socialist, read like this: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all"? Believing that equality, liberty, and justice were the cornerstones of America, Bellamy wanted to add "equality" to his pledge; however, the first official ceremony in which his pledge would be used was a public school program for the quadricentennial celebration of Columbus Day, and since Bellamy knew that the state superintendents of education were against equality for women and African Americans, he left the word out of the pledge.
  • that the United States did not even have a standardized flag until 1912?
  • that it takes 64 pieces of fabric to make an American flag, more than any other flag in the world?
  • that the American flag has changed designs more than any other flag in the world? To date, there have been 27 different versions!
  • that in 1912, President William H. Taft (who happens to be one of my ancestors, by the way!) standardized the arrangement of the stars into rows?
  • that the first states to require, by law, schools to fly the flag daily were North Dakota and New Jersey in 1890?
  • that the first official Flag Day was celebrated in Philadelphia in 1893?
  • that President Harry Truman declared June 14 as Flag Day in 1949?
  • that 10-year-old Billy Gobitas' 1935 letter to the school board of Minersville, Pennsylvania, in which he wrote, "I do not salute the flag because I promised to do the will of God," sparked one of several constitutional battles over the states' right to demand a specific type of respect for national symbols when doing so violated an individual's freedom of religion. Billy Gorbitas was a Jehovah's Witness. In 1943, the Supreme Court held that the federal government has no right to compel citizens to salute the flag or recite the pledge of allegiance.
You're a Grand Old Flag
George M. Cohan

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

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6 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    What a wonderful post to our Flag. There was so much information in there that I had no idea. What a great piece of history this symbol of our freedom and rights and privileges has been through. Thank you so much for sharing and putting this together. :) aloha

  2. Nessa Says:

    I had a girlfriend when I was young named Jackie. I always remember her on this day because it's her birthday.

  3. Travis Cody Says:

    Thom referred me to your post. You've got some great bits about our most excellent flag.


  4. Carleen Says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Travis!

    Thom, you know if there's a topic that I can research -- I'm all over it! :) There was a bunch of stuff that I didn't know, too, so it was a lot of fun to do this post.

    Nessa, I had a childhood friend whose birthday is today, too! Makes it really easy to remember, LOL

  5. Anonymous Says:

    And you did a dang good job my friend. Excellent as a matter of fact :)

  6. RA Says:

    Happy flag day! Very interesting facts, Carleen. You did a great job researching them.

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