In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 in commemoration of the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Many Americans celebrate Flag Day by displaying the Red, White and Blue in front of homes and businesses. It’s a pretty big deal for many of us – that’s why I want to share a little history.
It’s widely believed that Betsy Ross, who assisted the Revolutionary War effort by repairing uniforms and sewing tents, made and helped design the first American flag. However, there is no historical evidence that she contributed to Old Glory’s creation. It was not until her grandson William Canby held an 1870 press conference to recount the story that the American public learned of her possible role.
This Stars and Stripes history is verified: In 1958, a 17-year-old Lancaster, Ohio, student named Bob Heft borrowed his mother’s sewing machine, disassembled his family’s 48-star flag and stitched on 50 stars in a proportional pattern. He handed in his creation to his history teacher for a class project, explaining that he expected Alaska and Hawaii would soon achieve statehood as well. Heft also sent the flag to his congressman, Walter Moeller, who presented it to President Eisenhower after both new states joined the Union. Eisenhower selected Heft’s design, and on July 4, 1960, the president and the high school student stood together as Heft’s 50-star flag was raised for the first time. His history teacher promptly changed his grade from a B- to an A.
To me, when I display the flag, it is showing I’m a true American who believes in patriotism and freedom. I always try to put my flag up before Memorial Day and leave it up until after July 4. It will certainly be flying proudly on June 14.