I don’t know many Americans whose heart would not be filled with joy and pride at the sight of the American Flag. The American Flag has changed several times through out history, but its beauty has not lessened through out the years. The flag has evolved from the original design with only 13 stars and 13 stripes to the version that we know today with 50 stars and 13 stripes. The first flag with only 13 stars was accepted as our official flag on June 14, 1977. In 1818, congress agreed that the number of stars on the flag should change as we added states to our union however the stripes would always remain the same at 13. In the original Flag Act there was no specification as to how the stars had to be arranged on the flag. It only specified that the stars must be white on a blue field. The stripes were specified to be red and white and they stand for the original 13 colonies.
With no specification of how to lay out the stars that left open the field for many beautifully created star designs on our flags throughout history. Towards the end of the 19th century, many states began to set up their own laws for the flag and it’s appearance. These laws prohibited things such as printing advertisements directly onto the flag. In 1912, a uniform design was finally agreed upon.
Throughout history flags have been made by a variety of people and crafted out of many materials. Each flag represents the individual maker and reflects that moment in time so perfectly. The history of the flag includes flags with the stars sewn into different designs including circles, stars, and even into numbers. There have even been flags with words written onto them to help us remember certain events.
To maintain a certain reverance for the flag that stands for our country, certain rules of etiquette should be followed when handling a flag. There is a specific way to fold the flag. You must have two people to properly fold the flag. You are never to let the flag touch the ground. You can find specific flag folding instructions here.
Proper Flag Etiquette
When not on display the flag should be folded into a triangle. This traingle symbolizes the hats worn by the colonial soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
Do not let the flag touch the ground.
Any unusable flag should be destroyed in an appropriate way. You can do this by burning the flag in a distinguished manner.
The flag should only be displayed between sunrise and sunset. A flag may be displayed at night only if t is properly lit.
Do not fly the flag during bad weather.
Always make sure that the flag is flown with the stars in the upper left hand side.
There will be many flags flying over the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Make sure you are properly displaying and handling your flag. The 4th of July is a celebration of our freedom, and part of that freedom is shown in our flag.
Martha Stewart Living, July 2006, “Celebrate the Stars and Stripes”