The older I grow, the more I love patriotic holidays. Lucky for me, today, June 14th, the country has double the celebration because it’s the U.S. Army’s birthday and Flag Day! 🇺🇸
In honor of this double dose of festive patriotism, here are some fun facts about the Army and Old Glory!
1.) The Army is America’s oldest fighting force, even older the the country itself! Military.com tells us that it was founded by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 in order to protect the 13 original colonies’ freedom. That means that today is the Army’s 243rd Birthday! 🎂🎉We salute all our soldiers and all members of the military! God bless you, one and all!
2.) The American flag’s 13 red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies while the stars represent all the states in the Union.
3.) Though it is unclear as to the precise reason why the colors of red, white, and blue were selected to adorn the flag, the Congress of the Confederation chose the same trio of colors for the Great Seal of the United States in 1782 for the following representative purposes. Red symbolizes valor and hardiness, white represents purity and innocence, and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice. (Source: ushistory.org.)
4.) Betsy Ross is credited with sewing the first American flag though it is unclear whether this is actual history or legend. Fun fact: in second grade, I did a project on Betsy Ross, complete with a written book report on a children’s biography about Ross and an in-class presentation for which I was dressed up as our patriotic heroine and distributed graham cracker flag cookies that my Mom had made! 😋
5.) The flag derives its nickname “Old Glory” from Captain William Driver, who seeing the flag unfurl on his ship as he was leaving on a voyage in 1831, exclaimed, “Old Glory!” (Source: ushistory.org)
6.) The American flag should not be allowed to drag on the ground. There are also numerous other guidelines for properly and respectfully displaying and disposing of flags. Google them!
7.) According to Wikipedia, Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day, and National Flag Day was established by an act of Congress in August 1946.
8.) The lively, patriotic march “You’re a Grand Old Flag” was written by George M. Cohen in 1906 for his musical George Washington, Jr. (Source: Wikipedia).
9.) Today is also President Trump’s birthday! Whether you like him or not, it’s pretty appropriate that an American president was born on Flag Day.
In case these fun American history tidbits whet your appetite for more information about the emblem of our great nation, do some research on your own. Today is the perfect day to start! And remember to be grateful for the blessings of liberty we enjoy (and take for granted) in our country and for those who’ve fought and died to secure that freedom!