It’s Flag Day!

This past week was a fun week for the most part. Tuesday was my normal workday in our gift shop, but Wednesday morning, bright and early, I headed to Devine for my fun time with family and friends. I got to spend time with three of my little great-granddaughters, two great-grandsons, my son, my daughter and her husband, and my oldest grandson and his wife! It was a wonderful visit, and I even won at Bunco. I came home Friday afternoon, and Saturday, we were out at the park with our raffle, it was hot and dry, however, we had fans and plenty of water. None of my family got lucky, but my neighbor won the Grand Prize, so I at least get to visit it! The prize was this gorgeous outdoor living area, couch, chairs, indoor/outdoor rug for the floor, glass topped table, fire pit/bbq pit, and a few incidentals that were included! To say she was surprised when I talked to her would be to put it mildly. We are all excited for her, as she, like many others buy chances from us each time we have a raffle. As far as I know, the money we made will be used for a few more wheelchairs for the hospital! Also, I am sure that each and every one of us was glad that the rain held off until the middle of Saturday night. It was quite a storm, I get up, walk around the house and go back to bed! I can’t fix it, so no point in losing sleep.
Sunday morning, I was up early putting the finishing touches on the food that I prepared for our breakfast at church, we do this the first Sunday of each month, and this time I was one of the hostesses. We had a good crowd and most of us took home empty baking pans! That is what I love to do. After the breakfast, my friend and I went into town to the family center, and got busy making tea and coffee, and in general getting things set up for the lunch we were to have a little later. It was the 120th anniversary of Catholic Daughters of the Americas in our parish. It was a wonderful crowd, and a wonderful meal.
Wednesday, June 14, is Flag Day. Let’s all be sure to put out the flag on this day!
Have you ever wondered in what order the states came into the Union? Who actually designed the first flag? Why does it have 13 stripes? How many stars were on the first flag? Which were the original 13 states? When was Texas admitted as a state?
Legend has it that Betsy Ross, a widowed seamstress was the one who made the first flag from a sketch given her by George Washington. She is said to have changed the number of points on the stars from six to five and then made the first flag in 1776. However, history has proven that it is just that, a legend.
A second legend claims that John Hulbert designed it a full year before Betsy Ross is supposedly did. This flag had 13 stripes and 13 stars in honor of the 13 original colonies.
These colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. They all became states between December 7, 1787 and May 29, 1790.
The First Flag Law was passed by congress on June 14, 1777, giving this country an official national flag, consisting of 13 stripes alternating red and white, and a union of 13 white stars on a blue field.
Congress on May 1, 1795, adding two stripes and two stars in recognition of Virginia and Kentucky, passed the Second Flag Law. This 15-striped, 15-star flag is the second version of the national flag.
The Star-Spangled Banner was written as a poem in the Baltimore Patriot newspaper. Frances Scot Key composed the verses while viewing the battle of Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. It became our national anthem on March 3, 1931. (This flag is in the Smithsonian Museum. It is not being restored it is being preserved. The size of this flag, 30 X 42 ft, is astounding, considering the time and place that it flew.)
The Third Flag Act was passed on April 4, 1818, and created the third official version of the flag. Navy Captain Samuel Reid proposed that the flag contain 13 stripes to represent the 13 original colonies. At that time it was decided that a star, represent ting a state, would automatically be added to the flag on the Fourth of July after ea territory was admitted. The flag in 1818 consisted of 13 stripes and 20 stars.
On July 4, 1846, the 10th official design of the Stars and Stripes was created with the addition of Texas into the United States.
June 14, 1861, was the first recorded observance of Flag Day, which was the anniversary of the First Flag Law and took place in Hartford. Connecticut. Bernard Cigrand is generally given the credit for helping to promote Flag Day.
On July 4, 1877, the centennial of the First Flag Act, the 38th star was added honoring the admission of Colorado into the Union. This created the 20th official design of the Stars and Stripes.
The entry of New Mexico and Arizona into the Union on July 4, 1912, created the 25th official design of the flag with the addition of its 47th and 48th stars honoring these two states.
From 1912 until 1959, the flag had 48 stars and 13 stripes. In that year, Alaska became the 49th state and the 16th official design of the flag was created. The following year, on July 4, 1960, Hawaii was admitted to the Union and a 50-star flag became the 27th official design. At 12:01 a.m., a 50-star flag was raised over Ft. McHenry by presidential order in honor of the victory described in the national anthem.
Here is to the red of it-
There’s not a thread of it,
No, not a shred of it, all the
Spread of it, From foot to head, but
Heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it,
Precious blood shed for it,
Here’s to the white of it –
Thrilled by the sight of it,
Who knows the right of it,
But feels the might of it
Through day and night?
Womanhood’s care for it
Made manhood dare for it,
Purity’s prayer for it,
Here’s to the blue of it
Beauteous view of it,
Heavenly hue of it,
Star-spangled dew of it,
Constant and true;
Diadems gleam for it,
States stand supreme for it,
Liberty’s beam for it,
Here’s to the whole of it,
Stars, stripes and pole of it,
Body and Soul of it,
O, and the roll of it,
Sun shining through;
Hearts in accord for it,
Swear by the sword for it,
Thanking the Lord for it,
Red, White and Blue!
By John J. Daly