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Flag Day

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Our Nation's beloved cloth first flew high on Prospect Hill in Boston when the Continental Army recaptured the vital city from British Tories.

At that time the flag had 13 alternate red and white stripes with a British Union-Jack in the top left corner.

In May 1776, famed Betsy Ross reported she sewed the first American flag and June 14 of the following year Continental Congress passed the Flag Act.

“Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

The flag has evolved over the years and met its most recent fifty-star version by an act set by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959.

Each individual part represents a different aspect of the American way.

“Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes. They are seven red alternating with six white,” according to the site. “The stripes represent the original 13 colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union.”

The colors of the flag are symbolic as well.

“Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice,” explained the site.

The date chosen for Flag Day is the day the Flag Act was first passed and is considered the birthday of Old Glory.

In 1889, a New York school teacher, George Balch, first made his students celebrate Flag Day and this tradition spread like wild-fire throughout the United States.

In 1916, after years of unofficially celebrating the holiday, it was made official by President Woodrow Wilson in a presidential proclamation and was finally made “National Flag Day” through an act of Congress by President Harry Truman in 1949.

From the sands of Iwo Jima in World War II to the sands of Fallujah, Iraq, the American colors have seen plenty of action in its days.

“The flag is a symbol of sacrifice,” said Pfc. Patrick R. Raymond, an embarkation specialist with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd MLG. “It’s important to remember the sacrifices people have made for that flag.”

Raymond truly believes it is more than just a piece of cloth sewn together, as many Americans do.

“A flag is just a flag, but a flag with meaning behind it becomes a symbol,” Raymond concluded.

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