Flying the Red, White and Blue!

“Where did we get that flag? It was July 4th and that was the question I asked my husband as we hung the stars and stripes from the hooks on our porch.You’re probably thinking that is a strange question because nearly everyone would buy one at Wall-Mart or the hardware store. But no, this one is different, it has only 33 stars. “I think we got it years ago, at one of the Civil War reenactments we attended,” was my husband’s reply.

On June 14, 1777, Congress declared that “Old Glory” should have 13 white stars and 13 alternate red and white stripes.These represented the original 13 colonies. But then, the flag evolved from there and a new star was added each time a new state joined the Union. The stars symbolize heaven and the good men that are striving to reach there. Each stripe represents a ray of light from the sun.

As a kid in grade school, I loved the story of Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress who sewed the first American flag. Now I wonder if she even makes today’s history books, because some say there were many seamstresses in Philadelphia and we have no proof of her doing the job. Nevertheless, you may still tour the Betsy Ross house near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Regardless of who made it, this first flag was hoisted in place, January 1, 1776, in Boston, Massachusetts at General George Washington’s headquarters.

This fourth of July, we attended a community event and couldn’t help but notice the great number of people dressed in red, white and blue. One teenager in particular wore a head band with two small flags attached. You couldn’t miss her head bobbing up and down in the crowd of people, a declaration that she was honoring our country’s flag. As I watched young people, I wondered if they realized that the set of ideals our country’s flag represents are being threatened today?

I love the giant flags used by retail outlets to draw customers. And I remember how, as a symbol of our nation’s strength and unity, many Americans flew flags from their automobile windows during the 9/11 tragedy. The “Star Spangled Banner” symbolizes our freedom, our dignity, the true meaning of being an American. As it should have been, at the 4th of July event the Philharmonic Orchestra played many songs in tribute to our country’s military, in honor of the flag and asked for God’s blessing on our country, in the song “God Bless America”.

While writing this blog post, I began to feel somewhat guilty that we were not flying an updated flag on our porch (although there are several of these elsewhere on the property). Then I began looking at it this way. Our 33 star flag brings back memories of the evolution of the flag and of a war that nearly split our country and affected our unity. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861 and was considered ended at Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1865. Our porch flag represents the year 1859 when Oregon joined the Union and the thirty-third star was added. It was under this flag that the Civil War was fought and James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln served the country.

There is much history behind the United States flag and it should bring pride and joy any where it flies. Its next star representing, Kansas, was added in 1861 but during the same year eleven states seceded from the Union. President Lincoln did not remove stars from the flag because he believed the southern states were still part of the government. However in protest, some Northerners cut eleven stars out of their personal flags. Our 50 star flag has served America the longest, since 1960, and eleven presidents have served under it.

One of the three greatest presidents served under our 33 star flag, a president whose wisdom held our country together, who successfully led his country through its greatest constitutional, military and moral crises of preserving the Union rule, ending slavery and reunifying the nation. We need a president in office now with the wisdom to direct our country in the crises it faces today so that the flag that millions of people have fought for and thousands have died for will continue to fly with dignity and honor. I’m certain you have strong feelings about this subject. I’d love to hear from you.

10 thoughts on “Flying the Red, White and Blue!

  1. I like your blog about the American Flag. The American Flag is a symbol of our Country and also of those who fought for our Country’s freedom. US Soldiers and their families have paid a high price for our Country’s freedom; and the privileges that we all enjoy are a result of their sacrafices. My Uncle Ron fought in Vietnam; and what he went through during that time has greatly affected his health and his life. He has seen things and lived through experiences that I don’t want to even imagine. He is one who gave it all so that we can all live in a free nation. I feel that this Country needs to see a “changing of the guard” at this years’s Presidential election. We need a President who salutes our American Flag, and one who truly believes in God and backs our military.

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    • Your writing about an uncle that gave his all to protect our nation’s flag and freedom is a moving one and can be told by many who have done the same. We have much to be thankful for and one is men like these.

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  2. i also enjoyed your blog about the flag and the mening it has for everyone..i still get chills when i hear the anthem and god bless america..yes we do need someonr in office to lead our country back to being the country it used to be..god bless america

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  3. I thought that flag looked strange on the porch! lol. Love this post. I loved the story of Betsy Ross too. Made me realize that each person is needed to make a country great….even just someone that sews. I agree, it’s time for people to take things more seriously and apply God’s principles to leading our country. So many lives have been unselfishly sacrificed to give us the freedom that we take lightly.

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    • Loved your comments, Janine. Now you know why our porch flag looks strange, but it still does the job of honoring our country and the men serving it,including Jeremy Broscious, someone dear to us.

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  4. From a family who’s members have served in all the wars,I have great love,respect and admoration for All who have made the freedoms I enjoy possible. I well up when saying the pledge or singing the anthem…it’s never routine for me. There was a time when people in my UCC church wanted to remove the American Flag from the building. Feeling very strongly…that was not an option. When I lead VBS…we always say the pledge to the American Flag…the Christian Flag…and the Bible.

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    • So good to hear your comments on “Shirl and You.” We owe much to your family for their service in our armed services. Tell them thanks for me and keep that flag flying.

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