Happy Birthday Old Glory! Put out your flag and celebrate

It's the 234th birthday of our nation's flag. Find out who made it a holiday and why we pledge our allegiance to her. Photo: Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Tx. June 14, 2011 ­­– On this day in 1777 the Second Continental Congress adopted a national flag for their new country. It displayed a circle of thirteen stars on a field of blue located in the upper left-hand corner of a quadrangle of alternating stripes; seven red and six white. 

Woodrow Wilson made the anniversary of that adoption Flag Day in 1916. Later it became an institution by an Act of Congress in 1949.

Flags fly in the wind at the U.S. Flag Plaza at Liberty State Park in Jersey City (Image: Associated Press)

Flags fly in the wind at the U.S. Flag Plaza at Liberty State Park in Jersey City (Image: Associated Press)

Since then the flag has decorated many homes and businesses every June 14th but according to Wikipedia the president urges people to fly the flag for the entire week. What a great link between Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Old Glory has grown so much since it’s adoption I’ve often wondered what the Founding Fathers would think if they saw her today. Did they ever dream that those thirteen stars would grow to fifty?

Could they have imagined how freedom has grown to include so many more people than in 1776? Could they have fathomed the just how far their ideals would grow?

Imagine the resolution they may have felt if they could have eye-witnessed American Marines raising our flag at the top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. What would they think if they could watch an American gold medalist accept the award while our flag rises to the Star Spangled Banner in the modern Olympic Games? I can envision them standing with determined hope if they could have beheld the fire fighters hoisting the flag above the ruins of what used to be the World Trade Center. 

The Founding Fathers understood the importance of a national standard and how it brings us all together, no matter what part of this country a person hails from. Because of this Americans learned from a young age what the flag is and what she stands for: Freedom.


“Don’t Tread on Me” flags mix with Old Glory at an Illinois Tea Party rally. Photo: Jesse Alaniz.

As kids most of us started the school day with hand covered hearts facing the classroom flag while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. In this we learned thankfulness for our freedoms and to stand together in support of those freedoms. For a few moments every day all students were one while we recited that pledge.

Unfortunately there are places in this country where children no longer observe the saying of The Pledge at school on a daily basis.

One of them is the Devotion School, best known as the childhood school of President John F. Kennedy. According to an article in the local online newsletter Brookline Patch that covers the town of Brookline, Massachusetts,

“Unlike other Brookline schools, Devotion has not had an official recitation of the pledge in recent years.”


“Brookline policy requires all teachers to lead their class in reciting the pledge at least once a week, but Lupini said some schools, like Devotion, have not been reading the pledge in compliance with the policy. He said some parents raised the issue with the administration and he met with principals from throughout the town to figure out how to bring them in line with district policy.”

The elementary school of President John F. Kennedy in the state that also bore John Adams and Benjamin Franklin hasn’t recited the Pledge of Allegiance in recent years?? The school’s principal had to meet with other principals to figure out how to incorporate The Pledge of Allegiance into the school day?? What’s wrong with this picture?

Not too long ago a You Tube video made the rounds of Facebook and other social networking sites called Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance. Red Skelton was a movie and radio star in the 1940’s. From the 1950’s through the 1970’s he had his own television show called The Red Skelton Hour

In this video from one of his television shows Red explains the Pledge of Allegiance and why we say it while facing the flag, not to mention the importance of it being learned by our nation’s children.


  Need I say more?

Happy Flag Day to all!



For Claire Hickey, writing is a newly realized passion. Read more of Claire’s work at Feed The Mind, Nourish The Soul in the Communities at The Washington Times, her blog Sustenance For The Mind, and the writing group she belongs to at Greater Fort Worth Writers Group.


Join her on Facebook at facebook.com/Claire0803 and

Twitter http://twitter.com/Claire0803

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Claire Hickey

Claire has held a Texas Cosmetology License, Certification in Surgical Technology and has decorated cakes professionally. She believes that life is a banquet to be experienced and wants to learn and do as much as possible while she’s here. This Stay @ Home Mom has always loved to write and thanks to the Communities @ The Washington Times has got her chance. Her curiosity and writing lead her to create her column based on “garbage in garbage out” theory to provide interesting and thought provoking pieces that enrich her readers. A proud member and Treasurer for the Greater Fort Worth Writer’s Group she is currently working on her first novel.  


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