To honor the adoption of the flag of the USA, Americans celebrate Flag Day annually on June 14. The birthday of the United States Army that falls on the same date adds solemnity and festive mood to this date.
On Flag Day 2017, we are going to commemorate a symbolic historical event dating back to 1777 with greater commitment. In the light of the current political situation in the country, Americans should not only reflect on the history of Flag Day but also remember why we have united under The Stars and Stripes.
Flag Day Facts
To have a happy Flag Day, a true American should be able to appreciate the meaning of this holiday and its impact on our history. In case you need a slight reminder, here are the most important American flag facts for kids and their parents:
- It is not an official federal holiday.
- It is a part of National Flag Week (June 11–17, 2017).
- Few public buildings in Washington, DC fly the Flag of the United States 24 hours a day.
- There are 13 horizontal red and white stripes and a blue rectangle with 50 white stars on the Flag. Fifty stars represent all states in the United States, and the 13 stripes symbolize the first 13 colonies of the Union.
- Some people call the Flag ‘Old Glory,’ the name coined by a shipmaster William Driver in 1831 who got the flag from his friends.
- When red, white, and blue colors appeared on The Stars and Stripes in 1777, they had no meanings.
- The Star on the Flag symbolizes the heavens and the spiritual purpose of humankind whereas the stripe is a symbol of the illuminating sunbeams.
- A gold fringe on the Flag is not an obligatory adornment but an optional enrichment on the outdoor flags during flag holidays.
- To signal an adversity, one should fly the Flag upside down.
- The Flag should not touch the ground or other objects when it is lowered. That’s why those who receive it open their arms and hands.
- Americans planted six flags on the moon.
Let’s see if you can answer these questions about our Old Glory:
- What is the only U.S. state that observes Flag Day as a state holiday?
- What is the name of the USA national anthem?
- Is Flag Day a national holiday?
- Which state became the 50th Star on the Flag after being annexed?
- Which president established June 14th as Flag Day in 1916?
- What was the name of the tailor who sewed the first Flag of the US?
- When is Flag Day 2017?
- What is the other name of this holiday?
- Has anyone ever been honored for cutting the Flag?
- How many folds does the military make when folding the Flag?
Check your answers below:
- Star-Spangled Banner
- Yes, but not federal.
- Betsy Ross
- Woodrow Wilson
- June 14th (same date every year )
- Flag Birthday
- Robert Peary planted a flag at the North Pole in 1909. On his way there, he cut off the pieces of another flag and left them along the way.
- Thirteen folds.
Flag Day Quotations
Apart from holding parades, flag-raising ceremonies, services, and various school competitions, American Flag days are filled with deep reflections on the liberties and foundations of our nation. During National Flag Week we are being reminded of the principles and beliefs the Stars and Stripes represent.
Check out the compilation of beautiful quotes dedicated to Flag Day:
- “We identify the flag with almost everything we hold dear on earth, peace, security, liberty, our family, our friends, our home... But when we look at our flag and behold it emblazoned with all our rights we must remember that it is equally a symbol of our duties. Every glory that we associate with it is the result of duty done.” – Calvin Coolidge
- “That piece of red, white and blue bunting means five thousand years of struggle upwards. It is the full-grown flower of ages of fighting for liberty. It is the century plant of human hope in bloom.” – Alvin Owsley
- “A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation's flag, sees not the flag only, but the nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the nation that sets it forth.” – Henry Ward Beecher
- “The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights. It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life. It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, but of a history.” – Woodrow Wilson
- “Our flag honors those who have fought to protect it, and is a reminder of the sacrifice of our nation's founders and heroes. As the ultimate icon of America's storied history, the Stars and Stripes represents the very best of this nation.” – Joe Barton
Haitian Flag Day
The relationships between Haiti and the United States have been established and developed around the political and economic situation in the Caribbean region. Due to its location, Haiti is strategically important to the USA. Moreover, the United States became home for a big Haitian diaspora.
The nature of American-Haitian ties created a history of rather complicated economic, military, political, and social relations. However, the current policy of the United States toward Haiti aims at providing economic and development assistance to the country in order to improve its condition and fortify democracy.
As a specimen of a modern democratic state, the USA honors cultural traditions of its diverse population. That is why we can observe people celebrating a variety of holidays. Americans enjoy solemn festivities and often share each other’s moments of both happiness and sorrow. One such holiday that evokes a mixture of feelings is Haitian Flag Day.
The origin of Haitian Flag Day goes back to 1806. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who led the Haitian Revolution against France, used the French flag to make the one for Haiti. He ripped the white out and asked his goddaughter to sew the remaining red and blue together. Removing the white color meant the end of European reign whereas blue and red represented the people of Haiti, i.e. blue for the Africans and red for the mixed races.
So when is Haitian Flag Day celebrated? Every year, the Haitians hold the festivities for their flag day on May 18. Many of them treat the flag as a symbol of pride waving it around and even tattooing on their bodies. Haitians of diaspora honor the holiday by wearing the flag color around to remind each other and the rest of the world about the notions of independence, unity, and resilience.
We can learn a lot from the history behind a national flag. Since our future is the result of our past, we should know the history and remember its lessons. To move forward and evolve, we are bound to discover the world around and take in every experience.