United States Of America Flag

Written by Donald Sparacin
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There is no more widely recognized symbol than the United States of America flag. For many it stirs patriotism. For others it stirs hatred. Yet it is universally recognized, as the symbol of the greatest democracy the world has ever known, and the strongest country in the world today. Love it or hate it, our flag is the single most representative symbol of the country for which it stands.

A Brief History of the United States of America Flag

On June 14th, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first United States of America Flag Act to establish a symbol of the new nation. It stated, "Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." This date is symbolic as the currently celebrated Flag Day.

Unlike popular belief, most historians no longer believe that Betsy Ross designed the first American flag, but instead are moving toward Congressman Francis Hopkinson as the original designer. The thirteen stars and stripes were changed to fifteen in 1797. In 1818, President Monroe signed into law the concept of thirteen stripes to indicate the original colonies and a star to indicate every current state.

Following many revisions to the size and shape of the United States of America flag, President Taft signed into law the establishment of a fixed dimensional shape, and stars that had a single point upward in six rows of eight stars each to represent the then current 48 states. This design remained unchanged until President Eisenhower changed the star configuration twice in 1959 for the additions of Alaska and then Hawaii. This arrangement for the US flag has not changed since.

What the United States of America Flag Represents

The universally accepted significance of the colors has never changed from the inception of our flag. Red stands for hardiness and valor. White signifies purity and innocence. Blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. These are the basic tenets that represent the ideals and stated purpose of the United States of America.

All symbolic reasons for the colors, stars, and stripes aside, the United States of America flag represents many things to many people. It has been a rallying point for those who love the country, those that hate the country, and those that have sought to change the country from within. No other flag in the world is as recognized as the United States of America flag by as many people who are not citizens of its country. In the United States, it is revered with a set of rules and etiquette that govern every aspect of it, and most Americans follow that reverence and etiquette with a true passion and love.

The etiquette as to the flag's proper and lawful treatment is not lost on its country's faithful or its enemies. It is flown upside down to indicate distress by its citizens, yet is also flown upside down to indicate disdain by its detractors. Those that love what it represents burn it when it becomes worn or ragged as a sign of respect and honor. Yet those who hate what it represents will, as a sign of contempt also burn it.

Fly the United States of America Flag Proudly

Those that love the country fly the United States of America flag quite proudly. They have flags on the windows of their cars that flap loudly as they drive, and most sports teams wear the flag on their uniforms. Thousands have died in defense of the United States of America flag and all that it represents. For the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, the country and its citizens owe a sincere debt of gratitude. We fly our flags at our homes, schools, and businesses to demonstrate our patriotism and our thanks to those who have done so much to keep us free.

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