Surprisingly, most Americans are not all that knowledgeable about the history of the American flag. Sure, we proudly fly the red, white and blue every Fourth of July, but most of us forget what makes our flag such a source of inspiration for citizens of this country and millions of people around the world.
Here’s your chance to brush up on the highlights of American Flag History, just in time to celebrate our nation’s 234th birthday.
1. During the Continental Army’s siege on Boston against the British army in January of 1776, George Washington ordered the Grand Union flag to be hoisted on Prospect Hill. The flag had 13 alternating red and white stripes, but it didn’t have any stars yet. What was in the upper left hand corner of that flag?
2. When the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act in 1777, they resolved that the “union” consist of thirteen stars. In addition to the thirteen colonies, what else did these stars represent?
3. When President Monroe amended the Flag Code in 1818 to provide one new star for each state, it was decided that new stars would only be added on a specific date each year. What was this date?
4. Today’s flag consists of seven red stripes and six white stripes for a total of thirteen. We know the number of stripes refers to the number of original colonies, but what do the colors – red and white – stand for? And what does the blue stand for?
1) The British Union Jack
2) A new Constellation
3) July 4th
4) Red stands for Hardiness and Valor, and white represents Purity and Innocence. Also, blue symbolizes Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
Now that you know a little more about American flag history, you will be able to impress your family and friends this Fourth of July.