Flag day is an important day in America. The origin of the first American flag is unknown. Many historians believe it was designed by New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross. The original name of the flag was “Old Glory,” named by sea captain William Driver. 10 by 17 feet, the flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner, our country’s national anthem. Old Glory rests in the Smithsonian today. It consists of 13 horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white. Today, the stripes represent the 13 original colonies and the stars represent the 50 states. The colors of the flag are also symbolic. The military takes great pride in honoring our flag and those who died to make sure it is flown for freedom every day. This is shown each day by our military with the raising of the flag 30 minutes after sunrise and taken down 30 minutes after sunset. There are actually a few places where the flag is flown 24 hours a day. The main place is the White House. To military members, the flag means more than just a piece of cloth flown around the world. To us, it represents the people of the United States and the freedom we enjoy and stand for each day.
Our Colors, Our Flag
The Red in the flag represents hardness and valor. For many, this means the blood that has been shed in battle, and the courage of those who have protected our country.
This color signifies the Chief and stands for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. It symbolizes the heart in each of our military members and what they go through to protect our flag. The men and women who fight for our flag each day are the definition of vigilance. They walk in the jungles, fight in the frozen fields, watch soldiers die or become wounded, yet they never give up. They say, “Not today, not on my watch!” They stand together brother to brother, father to son, and mother to daughter—together as one.
The white stands for purity and innocence. To military members, it means to fight without hatred and malice towards our enemy, to fight only for the reasons others before us did: freedom and preservation of the American way of life. Our flag won’t fly to brag that we are the best country in the world. We have fought in wars against ourselves, against others, and for other countries. We have lost lives on foreign soil to protect others whom will never see freedom or spend a minute on American soil. This is the true meaning of purity and innocence. We fight for the oppressed and defend those who cannot defend themselves.
Stars and Stripes
The stars on the flag symbolize the heavens and the divine goal man has had since the beginning. The stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.
When It Was Born
All the meanings that have been given to our flag since its birth have not lasted over the years. The flag has always stood for one thing, and that’s the United States and the American way of life. I am sure many years from now, when I am long gone, somebody will create some new meaning, but what it really stands for will never change.