Happy Flag Day
Flag Day, celebrated on June 14th, commemorates the adoption of the American flag. It was first recognized as a holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and later established by an Act of Congress in 1949. In celebration of the holiday, here are some fun facts about our nation's flag.
Betsy Ross and the Flag:
The design of the American flag is often attributed to Betsy Ross, a seamstress from Philadelphia. According to popular legend, she sewed the first flag with its distinctive stars and stripes. While the exact details of her involvement are debated, Betsy Ross is recognized as an important figure in the history of the American flag.
Thirteen Stripes and Fifty Stars:
The current design of the American flag features 13 alternating red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies. The 50 white stars on a blue field represent the nation’s 50 states.
The Star-Spangled Banner:
The national anthem of the United States, "The Star-Spangled Banner," was inspired by the American flag. The lyrics were written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 after he witnessed the flag flying over Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Evolution of the Flag:
The American flag has undergone several changes throughout history. The first official flag, known as the "Grand Union Flag" or "Continental Colors," featured the British Union Jack in the corner with 13 alternating red and white stripes. Over the years, the design evolved, and stars were added to represent the growing number of states.
Largest American Flag:
The largest American flag ever made measures an impressive 255 feet by 505 feet and weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. It was displayed in celebration of the United States' bicentennial in 1976 and required the efforts of thousands of volunteers to unfold and fly.
Apollo Moon Missions:
The American flag has also made its mark on the moon. During the Apollo moon missions, six American flags were planted on the lunar surface by astronauts.
These fun facts highlight the rich history and symbolism of the United States flag, reminding us of the importance it holds as a national symbol.