Any chance you know what June 14 is this year? If you guessed Tuesday, you're half right. It also happens to be Flag Day, the one holiday when the symbol of America that we wave at parades and fly proudly in front of office buildings is supposed to get its due.
Officially meant to observe the day the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag on June 14, 1777, Flag Day doesn't come with the glitz and glamour -- not to mention the eats -- of Memorial Day or July 4. So people tend to forget about it. But with a more than 125-year-old history since the holiday itself was created and even more since the flag was adopted, Flag Day is more than just a passing fancy! If you're the type who can't keep her eyes from misting over as the fireworks burst on Independence Day, you might find something in Flag Day for you.
The red, white, and blue piece of fabric has gone through a lot of work to get where it is today. Talk about an amazing symbol of where we, as a nation, have come. So stop whining about your barbecue and how Flag Day doesn't come with a workday off, and get your hand over your heart for these blasts from the flag's past:
Betsy Ross Flag or the 13-Star Flag -- Betsy Ross was just a woman with an upholstery shop until George Washington arrived in 1777 and commissioned her to sew what would be the nation's first official flag, with 13 pointed stars representing the 13 colonies. It's the adoption of that flag that is referred to on Flag Day each year, and Betsy is the mother of all American flags.
Bennington Flag -- The first flag to lead American armed forces on land, it was used only in 1777 by the Vermont militia, and it remains in the Green Mountain State as a treasured relic in a museum.
Star-Spangled Banner Flag or the 15-Star Flag -- As the country grew, so did the flag, and by the time Francis Scott Key sat to write the National Anthem, there were 15 stars on the flag as the bombs burst through the air in Baltimore's harbor while a giant flag was hoisted by soldiers at Fort McHenry -- hence its nickname. The 15-star flag hoisted that night in particular has been named the "Great Garrison Flag."
50-Star Flag -- Call it what you will. Old Glory. The Stars and Stripes (but not the Stars and Bars -- that's the Confederate flag; although I hear the mistake often!). The most current version of the flag, in use since August 21, 1959 upon the executive order of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, still gives me a lump in my throat when it's flying over head.
Will you be celebrating Flag Day with a special salute to the red, white, and blue symbol to our nation's past and present?