U.S. American Flag Trivia and Flag Facts
Flag Trivia and Flag Facts About Old Glory
Steeped in tradition and respect, there’s a lot to learn and know about Old Glory. We have the answers to many of the most common questions about our beloved flag. Listed below are interesting flag trivia and flag facts.
Flag Trivia and Facts
- The first American flag, sometimes called the “Continental Colors”, was first used by the Continental Army in 1777.
- On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field.
- Betsy Ross, a seamstress, made the first flag.
- The red, white, and blue colors represent valor (red), liberty and purity (white), and justice and loyalty (blue).
- Our flag is also referred to as “Old Glory”, “Stars & Stripes”, and “Red, White & Blue”.
- Francis Scott Key wrote the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the back of an envelope.
- The 50th star was added in 1960 after Hawaii became the 50th state.
- After Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states in the union, Bob Heft, a 17-year-old student in Lancaster, Ohio, created the 50-star flag design. President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the design in 1960.
- Flag Code states that the Stars and Stripes should not appear on apparel, bedding, or decorative items. Obviously, no one enforces this code.
- Flying the flag upside down is usually a sign of protest. But, it is also displayed in this manner as a sign of distress.
- A Vexillologist is an expert on flags and their history.
Care and handling of the American flag is steeped in tradition and respect. There is a right way and a wrong way to display the Stars and Stripes. This is called Flag Etiquette. The American flag should be held in the highest regard. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag.
- The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
- In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
- Do not fly it at night without a light on it.
- Do not fly it in rainy or inclement weather.
- After a tragedy or death, fly it at half-staff for 30 days. It’s called “half staff” on land, and “half mast” on a ship.
- When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field, or “union”, is at the top and the end of the pole (away from your house).
- Always fly it at the top of the pole. Your state flag and others fly below it.
- The union is always on top. In print, the stars and blue field is always on the left.
- Never let your flag touch the ground, never…period.
- Fold your flag when storing. Don’t just stuff it in a drawer or box.
- When it is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Burn or bury them. Please do not throw it in the trash.
- Do not disrespect it in any manner.
Did you Know? There is a very special ceremony for retiring Old Glory by burning it. It is a beautiful and touching ceremony. Boy Scout groups know the proper ceremony and perform it on a regular basis. Give your old flags to them. And, attend the ceremony.
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” – – Thomas Jefferson
Famous Flag People
Betsy Ross was a seamstress who made clothes for George Washington. She also made tents, uniforms, and flags for the Continental Army. According to folklore, in May 1776, George Washington, In June 1776, Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, members of a committee of the Continental Congress approached her to make the country’s first flag. Washington provided Betsy Ross with a rough design, which included a six-pointed star. Ross demonstrated the ease of making a five-pointed star with a single snip of the scissors. George Washington approved the five-pointed star. Betsy finished making the American flag in early June 1776. While this has been referred to as the first American flag, it actually wasn’t. The first one, called the “Continental Colors” flew in 1775. But, it looked too much like the British flag.
Francis Scott Key Inspired by the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to our national anthem as he witnessed the event as British rockets whizzed in the air while our American Flag flew in the breeze. He wrote the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the back of an envelope.
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