Symbol of our country.
Anthem that represents us at home and abroad.
The Star Spangled Banner
You’d think that something as awesome as our flag would be easily traceable history-wise. Not so much though…
There are a few different legends, but mostly people agree that it had something to do with Betsy Ross and New Jersey. Generally, someone commissioned Betsy Ross to create a flag for the Continental Army in the early days of the Revolutionary War.
From the early day until now, our flag has changed in size, shape, and design. Today, it has thirteen stripes: 7 red and 6 white. There are 50 white stars, one for each state, on a dark blue background.
Our flag flies from every state and federal government building, and in front of many commercial or residential properties. It also has been, and is, carried into battle by our troops.
In one of the most iconic scenes in US history, Francis Scott Key was anchored in the Baltimore harbor on a British warship. Key was there to help coordinate a prisoner exchange (which was successful, yay!), but because of the bombardment they couldn’t go back to the city.
As Key was watching the bombs bursting in air over Baltimore, he started writing. And the poem he created that night has since turned into our national anthem.
So, since the US flag represents, well, the United States, there are a few ways to show our flag and country respect!
- When the national anthem plays, just stop. Stop moving, stop talking, stand still, and remove your hat. If you wish, you can place your right hand on your heart (the left side of your chest).
- On a flagpole, or set of flagpoles, the US flag should be flown higher than any other state or local flags.
- If you are flying a flag outside, please remember to take it in at night and during storms.
- At a parade or ceremony, everyone should stand and face the flag. (See, MilKids, it’s not just on base!) However, most people don’t seem to follow this guideline.
If you are a MilKid, and spend some time on a military base, you have some additional things to remember.
- When the flag is raised in the morning or lowered at night, it is called colors. Usually, there is a bugle call and then the national anthem. Please stop what you are doing and face in the general direction of a flag. When the second bugle call ends, you can move again.
- At military ceremonies, you should silently stand and face the flag as it passes in front of you. You should place your hand over your heart or keep your arms very still.
I hope you learned a little more about the US flag.
Happy Flag Day!