Old Glory

3 comments
The American flag during is folded during a retirement ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.
The American flag is folded during a retirement ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

The American flag has been called many things over time. Stars and Stripes. Old Glory. The Star-Spangled Banner. But no matter what name it goes by, the American flag – and its emblematic red, white and blue – represents our nation and our ideals.

Today is Flag Day and like any other day, service members will raise our country’s colors over military bases and at sea, at home and abroad just like generations before them have.

Coast Guard Base Kodiak personnel and base firefighters attend a flag raising ceremony Sept. 11, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen.
Coast Guard Base Kodiak personnel and base firefighters attend a flag raising ceremony Sept. 11, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen.

Our flag’s origin is filled with many legends, but can officially be traced to the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

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.

This was the resolution adopted by the Continental Congress as they set forth the approved design of a national flag. But what started out as a flag of 13 stars changed and expanded, just as our nation has.

To date, there have been 27 official versions of the flag. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state on Aug. 21, 1959.

We encourage you to take part in this celebration of our colors by learning something new about our flag and its history. Or by talking with a veteran, and listening to their stories and experiences as they served under the U.S. flag.

No matter how you honor the American flag today, always remember what it stands for – enduring freedom.

Servicemembers from each military branch present the American flag during a Fleet Week Memorial Day ceremony aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Arthur Hudman.
Servicemembers from each military branch present the American flag during a Fleet Week Memorial Day ceremony aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Arthur Hudman.

3 comments on “Old Glory”

  1. Old glory, the flag, star and stripes, any of those are alright, but to me I like to call her BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  2. Some words to reflect on this day of celebration for our flag.

    I have waved above these lands for over 200 years
     
    through countless wars and strife.
     
    Even though they have changed my appearance many times,
     
    they have not changed the principles for which I stand.
     
    A symbol of freedom, courage, strength, integrity, patriotism, dignity,
     
    and defender of human rights.
     
    These are the things from which I was born
     
    and why many men have died fighting in their defense.
     
    Why have I survived this long, for you say I am only woven cloth.
     
    But this is not true you see for I am much, much, more.
     
    First, I became a dream in the hearts of those who fought at Bunker Hill,
     
    a ragged bunch of irregulars or so the British maul ked.
     
    I gave perseverance and courage to Washington as he crossed the Delaware
     
    and wintered that dreadful cold at Valley Forge.
     
    An inspiration in Philadelphia to help Jefferson to write his famous lines,
     
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” and equality among all men.
     
    A target for bombardment at Ft. Sumter to begin that terrible civil war,
     
    And led the charge at Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, and Bull Run.
     
    An inspiration to our doughboys in the trenches in Europe and forests of Argonne,
     
    And courage to our soldiers on the sands of Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, and Corregidor.
     
    A hope for better things to come on the blood soaked beaches of Normandy,
     
    And the terrible Christmas at Bastogne.
     
    And again with those defenders of human rights who wintered life on the 38th Parallel,
     
    And the 58,000 plus who died in Laos, Cambodia, and Viet Nam.
     
    For you see each time as I have changed a little, it has added much more strength,
     
    to all those principles upon which I was born.
     
    And that is why I ask that you let no man take away
     
    from those things that were written into our laws,
     
    And on this day of celebration I ask that you do not desecrate my cloth,
     
    For you see I represent the souls of those who gave their life in my defense.
     
    If not for me then cherish these principles for which they died,
     
    That you might be a free American to seek your heart’s content.
     

Leave a Reply