Today, June 14, commemorates the adoption of the United States flag, Old Glory. Back in 1777, the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating, “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
Today the flag consists of 13 horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white. The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
But the American flag represents so much more than that. It also represents unity and loyalty to this Great Nation. Walt Whitman once lamented, “I have a little flag....It was taken by the Secesh [secessionists] in a cavalry fight, and rescued by our men in a bloody little skirmish. It cost three men’s lives, just to get one little flag, four by three.”
The United States flag is no ordinary banner. Instead, it is a symbol of American courage, sacrifice, valor and unity. Countless Americans have died protecting this symbol of American unity and greatness. So today, we celebrate the United States flag.
19th-century sea captain William Driver (the man credited with coining the nickname “Old Glory”) had this to say about our flag on his deathbed, “This is my old ship flag Old Glory. I love it as a mother loves her child; take it and cherish it as I have always cherished it; for it has been my steadfast friend and protector in all parts of the world—savage, heathen and civilized.”
Display your flag with pride on Flag Day!