Today is Flag Day - fly it proudly today and always!
(and DO NOT use it as a tablecloth!)
It's also the U.S. Army's 238th birthday, so Happy Birthday!
From National Flag Day Foundation:
The “Stars and Stripes”, the official National symbol of the United States of America was authorized by congress on that Saturday of June 14, 1777 in the fifth item of the days agenda. The entry in the journal of the Continental Congress 1774-1789 Vol. Vlll 1777 reads “Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”Some interesting flag locations and flag facts:
On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance. This observance, commemorated Congresses adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day. The crowning achievement of his life came at age fifty when President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. On June 14th, 2004, the 108th U.S. Congress voted unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.
* In 1909 Robert Peary placed a flag, sewn by his wife, at the North Pole. He also left pieces of another flag along the way. It is the only time a person has been honored for cutting the flag.
* In 1963, Barry Bishop placed the flag on top of Mount Everest.
* In July 1969 the American flag was "flown" in space when Neil Armstrong placed it on the moon. Six US flags are currently stationed on the moon. They were put there by Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
* The first time the American flag was flown overseas on a foreign fort was in Libya, over Fort Derne, on the shores of Tripoli in 1805.
* Old Glory actually refers to a specific flag owned by Captain William Driver. Old Glory was made with 24 stars and 13 red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. Old Glory traveled with Driver on his ship and circled the globe twice before retiring with Driver in Nashville. The flag was hidden away inside Driver’s bedspread in Nashville, when Tennessee seceded from the Union. When the war was over, Driver joyously ripped open his bedding to an astonished group of patriots to be proudly displayed for all to see. Sadly, due its fragile state and incredible historical and sentimental value, Old Glory’s last show was at the Tennessee State Museum in 2006. It now lives in the Smithsonian.
* The red, white and blue stripes are strictly defined as Dark Red (Pantone 193 C), White (Pantone safe), and Navy Blue (281 C).
* The current version of the US flag was designed by an 18 year old high school student, who only received a “B-“ for his efforts. Robert Heft, took exception to this grade, and issued his teacher a challenge: if Heft’s design proposal was accepted by Congress, he would deserve and receive an “A”. Heft earned his “A”, and by presidential proclamation in 1958, his design was officially adopted as the nation’s flag.
* Flag Day is always June 14th.