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Americans Celebrate Flag Day June 14th

Many of us recall the story of Betsy Ross from primary school. Credited with crafting the first American flag in 1776, she’d been visited by a secret delegation of the Continental Congress, led by General George Washington himself, who made the request. Betsy is popularly remembered as the modest bonneted seamstress, replying directly to Washington that she would try. Only, there are no official records of the meeting and it cannot be corroborated. Much of what we, our grandparents, and our children, have learned in school relies on the words of her Grandson, William Canby, almost a hundred years later in 1870.

Time and retelling may have burnished the details, but what’s important is that this national symbol endures as testament to our commitment to liberty and unity. The flag reminds us that we’re all entitled to dream, and that we are united under the declaration of the inalienable rights of all people.

What does the flag mean for you?

Betsy Ross presenting the first American flag to General George Washington, Painting by Edward Percy Moran, US Library of Congress

History of Flag Day

The stars and stripes were adopted as the United States Flag on June 14th 1777 by the Second Continental Congress.  However, an official commemoration wasn’t immediately sought. Known observances are cited no earlier than 1861, and congress didn’t establish its official observance until 1946. It’s not a federal holiday. For more information, Wikipedia has a terrific page with the circuitous details.