Today is flag day, an American Holiday and a special time for all Americans to put Old Glory on display and let it wave in the wind with pride and special recognition to the best land in the world. However, when I asked some kids in the neighborhood today if they knew if it was Flag Day they gave this puzzled look on their faces and shrugged their shoulder with a stray look asking me to repeat the question with the same result. Blank eyes staring back at me made me realize one thing for certain; kids today do not know about Flag Day and its significance. Blaming the parents for their motivation to educate and inform their kids of this special day, it was also inferred that the purpose of celebrating Flag Day was dwindling and no longer important to a majority in the neighborhood as I saw a sparsely display of the American flag on the block and the surrounding streets.
For the kid’s sake, Flag Day is celebrated every June 14th by posting their privately owned flag on a pole and hang it on the outside of their home or business to show the world we are American patriots. Normally, this becomes more visible in Veteran’s homes and other public buildings but the number of flags being displayed has diminished significantly. As the legend is told how the American flag was born, it was told that George Washington, our first President and other members of the new Continental Congress asked a spinster, Betty Ross, to sew the first American flag in 1776. The first flag had thirteen stars arranged in a circle with the colors of red, white and blue. About a year later, this flag was adopted by the Congress as the official flag of the United States of America nicknamed the Stars and Stripes. The first Flag Day was celebrated in 1877 ‘” the flag’s centennial occasion ‘” and in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that called for a national holiday and observe the American flag on every June 14th of the year. Still not an official holiday, Congress took this step on further and declared in 1949 that the 14th of June was hereby designated to be Flag Day. The colors were purposely chosen to represent special meanings and notations. The red was chosen to reflect America’s hardiness and courage. The white stood for the purity and innocence of our new borne country and the blue for the vigilance and justice for all themes that represented the freedom and ideals of the traditional American. The thirteen stripes stand for the thirteen American colonies that rallied and took arms up against the British and fight for their freedom.
Betsy Ross sewed thirteen stars in the original flag to represent the thirteen colonies including Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. To this day, the American flag has grown to 50 stars representing all 50 states of the United States of American, 2011.
So next year, on June 14th, 2012, tell your children you have Old Glory and hang it proudly on your front porch, your rooftop or in front of your business and celebrate a strong American tradition that reflects our inner strength and courage as the greatest country in the world.