About National Flag Day
Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14th 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress, in the midst of the Revolutionary War.
Colonial troops fought under many different flags with various symbols—rattlesnakes, pine trees, and eagles—and slogans—”Don’t Tread on Me,” “Liberty or Death,” and “Conquer or Die,” to name a few.
The origins of the Stars and Stripes have become part of American folklore. Although many people believe that Betsy Ross designed and sewed the first flag, there is no true proof of this. However, records do indicate that she made ensigns and pennants for the Philadelphia navy during the war. Various towns in colonial America have claimed to be the birthplace of the Stars and Stripes.
Based on colonial folklore, it has also been stated that the American flag was first flown in battle during the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in 1777.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. Although not an official federal holiday, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress on August 3rd 1949.
Name that state
States have their own flags. Can you match these states with their flags? Answers below.
|State flag description||States|
|1. Gulf Coast pelican feeding three chicks||Alaska|
|2. Only state flag that includes a foreign country’s flag||California|
|3. Two colorful coats of arms (one of four flags without blue on it)||Hawaii|
|4. Only one with a portrait of a U.S. president||Louisiana|
|5. Newest: Magnolia blossom replaced Confederate banner in 2021||Maryland|
|6. Two-sided, with state seal and a beaver on opposite sides||Mississippi|
|7. Triangular, swallowtail design (other 49 flags are rectangles)||New Mexico|
|8. Large grizzly bear, this state’s official animal||Ohio|
|9. Eight gold stars for the Big Dipper and North Star||Oregon|
|10. Ancient sun symbol sacred to native Zia people||Washington|
Five fun flag facts
- The story that Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag was first told by her family nearly 100 years later. Ross is known to have sewn flags, but there is no proof she made the historic one.
- The huge “Star-Spangled Banner” that in 1814 inspired our national anthem has 15 stars and 15 stripes. Over the years, pieces of the flag were given away as souvenirs, and one of its stars was cut out. What happened to it remains a mystery. You can see this flag — the only official American flag with 15 stripes — at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
- The first flag planted on the moon, during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, traveled there in a case attached to one leg of the lunar module to save space. In all, six U.S. flags have been left on the moon. In 2012, the U.S. space agency reported that at least three were still standing, though all six have probably been bleached white by sunlight.
- Flags don’t have an expiration date. It doesn’t matter how many stars or stripes it has: Once a U.S. flag, always a U.S. flag. You can fly any of the 27 versions you like.
- The 50-star flag has been in use since 1960, the longest of any official U.S. flag. Credit for its design went to Ohio high school student Bob Heft. He got a B-minus grade for his American history class project; his teacher changed it to an A when the government adopted the design. Heft also designed a 51-star flag, which is standing by if and when it’s needed.
1. Louisiana; 2. Hawaii; 3. Maryland; 4. Washington; 5. Mississippi; 6. Oregon; 7. Ohio; 8. California; 9. Alaska; 10. New Mexico