This day, June 14, is Flag Day, the 245th anniversary of the establishment of Old Glory by an act of the Continental Congress.
While legend has it that Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross sewed the first Stars and Stripes, historians dispute this because of the lack of historical record of any contact between George Washington—head of the committee to create a new banner for the colonies—and Ross. One of her grandsons spread the story of her involvement in 1870, and it quickly became part of American lore. Seems the truth is lost to history.
One thing is certain. Our flag has endured for centuries, a Star-Spangled Banner waving through the worst of storms, encouraging our people, offering them hope. Raised over Fort McHenry after the Battle of Baltimore to signal American victory over the British, it inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem. Raised high on Mount Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima, it became the inspiring symbol that propelled our country to victory in World War II. And who can forget the flag as it waved over the destruction of 9-11, again marking our nation’s determination to endure.
School kids have been saluting the flag with the Pledge of Allegiance since 1892. May it long wave as a symbol of freedom and opportunity for people everywhere.
1. Scholars now credit Francis Hopkinson as the American flag’s designer. (Source: Leepson, Marc. “Flag: An American Biography.” St. Martin’s Griffin. 2005. p. 33.)
2. The Flag Manufacturers Association of America (FMAA) issued the following Tweet on February 4, 2021:
FMAA@FMAA_USA – Feb 4
#FlagFact: The designer of the American flag was Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey.
3. Recent research on Francis Hopkinson and the Stars and Stripes has been uploaded to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Hopkinson
Submitted by Earl P. Williams, Jr., U.S. flag historian (paleovexillologist)