Taking a moment to honor Old Glory
For some, it’s a symbol of what countless millions of brave souls have fought and died for, and continue to defend. For some, it’s a reminder of what America is and could be in the future. But unquestionably, it is an icon representing freedom and democracy.
That icon is Old Glory, the American flag. And while today, Flag Day, isn’t a national holiday, it is a day worthy of our attention and respect for this most recognizable of our nation’s symbols.
Members of the American Legion Post in La Plata will hold a flag retirement ceremony and demonstrate the dignified and proper method of disposing of worn, torn or tattered flags at 3 p.m. today at the post’s memorial.
How this day came to be Flag Day is, of course, steeped in American history. On this day in 1777, during the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution stating that the flag have 13 alternating stripes of red and white, with 13 stars on a blue field.
The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army a year before.
After the new nation won the war, stripes as well as stars were added with the entrance of new states into the Union. But before that flag got too busy, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.
On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the American flag. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after that first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, but federally it was officially established by a proclamation from President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916.
Then, in 1949, Congress designated June 14 as a national day of observance. At that time, under President Harry Truman, the flag had 48 stars. A decade later, with the addition of Alaska and Hawaii, the flag was changed again to its present-day design of 50 stars and 13 stripes.
And that’s the version of the flag we’ll be honoring this afternoon in La Plata. For more information, contact the post at 301-934-8221.
So take a moment today, even if you don’t attend the ceremony, to think about Old Glory and all it represents.