The American Flag
There are no records to prove who designed the original Stars and Stripes. The official design was approved on June 14, 1777 and this was called the Flag Act. It said “That the Flag of the thirteen United States will be thirteen strips, alternate red and white, that the union will be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Each time a new state was added, a new star was added. The last state to be added was Hawaii in 1960, which brought the total to fifty stars.
The American flag is the symbol of our Nation. It should be flown with honor. American children salute the flag in school each day as they say the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge says:
The Pledge of Allegiance
I Pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
with liberty and justice for all.
The American flag should be displayed on all days but especially on certain days. These days are:
New Year's Day - January 1
Inauguration Day - January 20
Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday - third Monday in January
Lincoln's Birthday - February 12
Washington's Birthday - third Monday in February
Easter Sunday - (variable)
Mother's Day - second Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day - third Saturday in May
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon) - last Monday in May
Flag Day - June 14
Independence Day - July 4
Labor Day - first Monday - September 1 - 7
Columbus Day - second Monday in October
Navy Day - October 27
Veterans Day - November 11
Thanksgiving Day - fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day - December 25
Other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
Birthdays of States (date of admission)
Respect for the flag is very important. The American Legion gives the following Flag Code to show our respect:
(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.
(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkin or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. (Disposal of Unserviceable Flags Ceremony)
Many people wonder why the American Flag is lowered each day, why it is folded into a triangle shape at funerals,and what each fold represents. Most experts agree that it is an Army and Navy custom that the flag is lowered daily to symbolize retreat. No part of the flag is ever allowed to touch the ground. The Flag is then carefully folded into the shape of a tri-cornered hat, a symbol of the hats worn by colonial soldiers during the war for Independence. As the flag is folded, the red and white stripes are finally wrapped into the blue, to symbolize the light of day vanishes into the darkness of night. The only thing that can be showing is the blue field of stars. This custom of special folding is reserved for the United States Flag alone. Here is a copy of the meaning of each fold, according to the US Air Force Academy www.usafa.af.mil
How To Fold The US Flag -- Hit HERE
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother's day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."
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