Every Memorial Day is seen as another day of rest, whether it’s from school or work. But Memorial Day, or also known as Decoration Day, is a day to remember and honor those who have given their lives while serving our country. Originally, the day was dedicated to commemorating the soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War, but has expanded over the years to include all military personnel. To honor this coming Memorial Day, Artitudes would like to share with you a few historical facts about the American flag.
- George Washington flew the Grand Union Flag at his base in Prospect Hill on January 1, 1776 New Year’s Day. At that time, the flag consisted of 13 red and white stripes and had the symbol of the British Union Jack in its upper left corner.
- Betsy Ross sewed the first flag in May 1776.
- On June 14, 1777 the Continental Congress passed the Flag Act which declared that there should be thirteen white stars in a blue box to represent the union and to mimic a star constellation, and 13 alternating red and white stripes. From 1777 up until 1960, Congress passed several more acts that allowed new stars and stripes to be added onto the flag according to admission of each new state.
- The national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” was written by Francis Scott Key in 1812 after viewing a sight of the flag waving and flying in the night over Fort McHenry and after a British attack. The same flag that inspired the song still remains today in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
- The U.S. flag was nicknamed Old Glory in 1831 by the sea captain William Driver.
- In 2008, the Smithsonian spent $18 million on a project to begin the restoration of the historic flag. The flag is 30 X 34 feet and is 42 feet long, three stories high.
The flag we know today has 50 white stars for each state in the U.S. and 13 red and white horizontal stripes to represent the thirteen original colonies. The color red symbolizes valor and hardiness. The color blue represents justice, perseverance, and justice. Lastly, the color white means purity and innocence.
All of us at Artitudes Design wish everyone a wonderful Memorial Day and weekend, and especially wish to thank those who currently serve in the United States Armed Forces for their sacrifice. You make us proud.
Is there anyone you are honoring or would like to honor this coming Memorial Day?
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Flag picture source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multimedia/photos/?c=y&articleID=30705879