One of the most beautiful pieces of fabric on earth is the rectangular piece of fabric printed with the American flag.  June 14 is designated as Flag Day.  It is a celebration of the Flag Resolution of 1777.  It is also the day that the United States Army was established by the Continental Congress in 1775.   

The design of the flag has changed over the years.  The first American flag, which was raised on Prospect Hill in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1776 by General Washington’s Army, was a modification of the British flag.  A later flag, known as the “Betsy Ross” flag, had 13 stripes and 13 stars and was adopted as the flag of the United States by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.  In 1795, Vermont and Kentucky were added to the original Thirteen Colonies, and the flag design changed to incorporate 15 stars and 15 stripes.  In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem about the attack on Fort McHenry by British ships in the War of 1812. The poem describing the flag became known as the “Star-Spangled Banner” and became the national anthem of the United States by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931.  Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first stanza is commonly sung. 

In 1818, five stars were added for Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi; and the 13-stripe design was re-instituted and remains to this day.  The 24-star flag was adopted in 1822 when Missouri became a state.  The term “Old Glory” was coined in 1831 by Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts who used the term to describe the 1822 flag.

In 1912, the American Flag had 48 stars representing the 48 states.  In 1949, President Harry Truman issued a proclamation to observe Flag Day on June 14th of each year.  The current flag with 13 stripes and 50 stars was adopted in 1960 after Hawaii became the 50th state.  This flag was designed by high school student, Robert G. Heft, who received a grade of “B-minus” from his teacher for his flag design because it lacked “originality”.  President Eisenhower chose Heft’s design for the official United States. Flag 

  Flag Day is more than a celebration of the Resolution of 1777 when the Continental Congress adopted the Betsy Ross flag.  It is a day of pride for grateful Americans who have the privilege of living in the greatest country in the history of the world.  This Flag Day please take a moment to honor the American Flag, the symbol of freedom and hope, and remember the many men and women who have defended it and currently defend it. 

The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,

O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

References:  

Hillsdale College (n.d.).  A Timeline History of the American Flag.  Retrieved from https://www.hillsdale.edu 

Wikipedia (2021).  The Star-Spangled Banner.  Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner

Canning Class Offered on June 22

A Canning Class will be held at the Pontotoc County Extension Office on Tuesday, June 22nd at 10:00 am.  There is a $5.00 charge to attend the class.  Space is limited and you must register for the class in advance.  For more information, please call the Extension Office at 662-489-3910.

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