National Flag Day is a celebration of the adoption of the flag of the USA by the Continental Congress June 14, 1777. Flag Day was officially designated by an Act of Congress Aug. 3, 1949 during Harry S. Truman’s administration. Although the flag of the USA was flown June 14 on public buildings in cities before 1949, it was no official. Today, public buildings, schools, and private residences raise the flag from a pole or hang it in front of the building. A national flag flown at half mast tells us a national tragedy has occurred or a statesman has died.
Our national flag consists of 50 stars in a blue field for the number of states, and 13 red and white stripes for the number of English colonies that won their independence. The star field has evolved over the centuries as the nation expanded.
A flag carries enormous significance. It is a way for a country to portray itself to the rest of the world. For Americans, the national flag stands for freedom, pride, and justice. The flag inspired lawyer Francis Scott Key to write a poem called “The Defense of Fr. McHenry,” later put to music as the “Star Spangled Banner.” Ft. McHenry, MD. was bombarded by the English for 25 hours during the War of 1812. The flag has been carried into battle in wars on American soil: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and Mexican War, but no longer. The military now wears flag patches on the arm of the uniform.
Citizens lovingly refer to our national flag as “Old Glory” or “The Red, White, and Blue,” or the “Stars and Stripes.” One is filled with great pride while driving down the highway and unexpectedly coming upon a huge flag streaming in the distance! Our national monuments in Washington, D.C. proudly furl flags on our around them.
Recently, flags designed exactly like the flag of the USA but using a black or other color stripe halfway between blue and white stripes are appearing. An organization called The Thin Blue Line USA states these flags are flown to show support for police with a black line. Apparently, the “thin blue line” design began as a “blue line between two black rectangles.” You can now buy a flag with a red line for firefighters, a green line for border patrol, a grey line for correctional, a yellow line for dispatchers and a while line for EMS with blue and white stripes.
What happened to that original design? What is happening to our national flag? It has been infringed upon — hijacked. Altering our national flag by changing the color of its stripes to honor an organization is disrespectful. Companies that make such a flag and people who buy it our disrespecting our national flag.
Citizens, proudly display the “Stars and Stripes” in your neighborhood on national holidays — or everyday!