Monday, June 13, 2011

Honoring the Red, White and Blue: Flag Day is Tuesday

 Why it's celebrated on June 14, and display etiquette.

Northport Village has been awash in flags for about a month now, since  the Northport Rotary's "Stars and Stripes: A Tribute to Veterans"fundraiser got underway in May. 

First a sea of red, white and blue appeared on the front lawn of Village Hall, then surrounding the gazebo in Village Park, then to the historical society and the fire departmen'ts Main Street headquarters.

By last count, over 200 had been sponsored and dedicated to veterans by Northport community members.
After tomorrow, June 14, which is Flag Day, the displays will come down and be distributed to the sponsors.
Our national flag is celebrated annually on this date, according to the Library of Congress, because on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag.

The legislation read, "Resolved” that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation."

In 1916,  President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14.

In 1949, Congressional legislation designating June 14 as the national Flag Day was signed into law by President Harry Truman; the legislation also called upon the president to issue a flag day proclamation every year.

The design of the American flag came about in 1776, according to legend and the Library of Congress, when George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the new nation. Scholars debate this legend, but agree that Ross most likely knew Washington and sewed flags. 

To date, there have been 27 official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers' preferences. That is until 1912 when President  Taft standardized the then-new flag's 48 stars into six rows of eight. The 49-star flag (1959-60), as well as the 50-star flag, also have standardized star patterns. 

The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959.

There are etiquette rules for proper display of the American flag that include being illuminated if flown at night. The United States Code as it pertains to flags is attached to this article in PDF.

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