Despite how far things have progressed since that time, Old Glory is still celebrated each year on June 14th, as part of Flag Day celebrations.
There is no federal holiday on Flag Day, so government offices and the mail will still be run on this day. In spite of this, it is a great time to appreciate the history of the flag and what it stands for.
An overview of some of the history of flags
In 1776, George Washington commissioned a Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to design a new flag for the country, according to legend. There is little doubt, however, that the flag was designed by Francis Hopkinson, who was also responsible for creating the Great Seal of the United States and the first American coin, according to the Library of Congress.
Her family’s Philadelphia upholstery shop is believed to have been the place where Ross met with Washington and sewed an early flag at the end of the 18th century.
A total of 27 official versions of the flag have been produced until 1912 when President Howard Taft standardized the 48-star arrangement into six rows of eight stars on the flag, resulting in there being 27 official versions.
After Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959, the current version of the Hawaii flag was adopted on July 4, 1960.
What was the beginning of Flag Day?
According to the Library of Congress, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing Flag Day on June 14th as a national holiday. In celebration of this day, Americans were encouraged to display flags in front of their homes and to take part in parades and patriotic celebrations across the nation.
President Harry Truman signed into law in 1949 a law setting aside that date on the first Monday in June as Flag Day in accordance with the legislation passed by Congress.
A proclamation must also be issued by the president every year in recognition of Flag Day under the legislation which was passed.
Flag symbols of the country
The white stars of the flag represent the 50 states of the United States and the 13 stripes – 7 red and 6 white – represent the number of original colonies of the country.
It is a symbol of courage and valor, a symbol of purity and innocence, a symbol of vigilance, a symbol of perseverance, and an icon of justice.
The manner in which the flag should be flown and displayed is governed by numerous regulations. Here is a link that you can use to learn more about flag etiquette.