On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag for the new nation. The resolution stated: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” On Aug. 3, 1949 President Harry S. Truman officially declared June 14 as Flag Day.
The history of our flag is as fascinating as that of the American Republic itself. For more information, click here.
“When you see the Stars and Stripes displayed, son, stand up and take off your hat. Somebody may titter. It is in the blood of some to deride all expression of noble sentiment. You may blaspheme in the street and stagger drunken in public places, and the bystanders will not pay much attention to you; but if you should get down on your knees and pray to Almighty God, or if you should stand bareheaded while a company of old soldiers marches by with flags to the breeze, some people will think you are showing off.
But don’t you mind! When Old Glory comes along, salute, and let them think what they please! When you hear the band play “The Star-Spangled Banner” while you are in a restaurant or hotel dining room, get up even if you rise alone; stand there and don’t be ashamed of it, either!”
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Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.
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Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend and a chance to get the year’s first sunburn.
It’s easy to forget what this holiday is really about.
Here’s a handy 10-pack of facts to give some perspective.
National Constitution Center “The History of the U.S. Flag”
From Drexel University Online, an educational video exploration into the history of the American flag, narrated by former NBC10 journalist Terry Ruggles. This compelling and informative video is the perfect American history teaching tool.