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What I Love About the American Flag

Lincoln funeral flag (Encyclopedia Smithsonian)

Let me tell you what I really love about our Grand Old Flag.

It’s almost June 14, which every American should know as Flag Day but probably doesn’t because we don’t get off of work and most schools are already closed for summer.

As I reflect on the greatness of the Stars and Stripes, what I really appreciate is, well, the stars and the stripes, especially the stars.

When other nations expand across new territories by war or by peace, the first thing they do is raise a flag for all to see and for all to know who the victors are.  The newly assimilated people are expected to discard their old emblem of honor and raise the new one foisted upon them.  Of course, many do so reluctantly while the rest of the nation returns to business as usual.

Not so in the United States of America, though.  As of April 4, 1818 and even unofficially before then, each state in the Union is represented by its own star and the flag is updated on the first Fourth of July after a state joins our great nation.  Idaho beat the buzzer on July 3, 1890.

An Act to establish the flag of the United States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress Assembled, That from and after the fourth day of July next, the flag of the United States be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be twenty stars, white in a blue field.

And be it further enacted, That on the admission of every new state into the Union, one star be added to the union of the flag; and that such addition shall take effect of the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission.

In America, we don’t force our flag upon the new people. Instead, we join with them and we all raise a new flag recognizing the birth of a new nation. God Bless America!

Want to know when your state got it’s star?  Find out at Encyclopedia Smithsonian.