Saturday, June 12, 2010

Flag Day - June 14

On August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day. This was the culmination of efforts dating as far back as 1861 to have an annual day dedicated to celebrating the American Flag.

Over the years, there have been 27 official variations of the American Flag. Each modification occurred when additional states were added to the Union. The Flag as it flies today was adopted in 1959 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It includes 50 stars for the 50 states, with the last one added for Hawaii.

Although the colors on the American flag were not given any meanings at the time the flag was created, meanings were given for the colors of the Seal of the United States, which is also red, white and blue. Red stands for hardiness and valor. Blue stands for purity and innocence. Blue is for vigilance, perseverance and justice. The House of Representatives issued a book in 1977 which stated that the stars and stripes had further meaning. According to this book, the stars represent the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immortal, and the stripes are symbolic of the rays of light that emanate from the sun.

Each star on the flag has five points. Legend has it that Betsy Ross showed George Washington how to make a five pointed star with one snip of her scissors. Whether this is true or not, it's an enchanting story, and one that I discussed in our blog post about Betsy Ross on July 1, 2007.

You can make a five-pointed star just like the one Betsy Ross did. Click on the words five pointed star above and it will take you right to a page of instructions for making these stars.

If you are inspired to make your own patriotic project this summer, you'll find some fun patterns by clicking the link for Patriotic Patterns. You can also find American fabrics by clicking this link for Americana Fabric.

To learn more about flag etiquette and the proper way to fly a flag, go to the website of the U.S. Flag.

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