Celebrate the Stars and Stripes

Flag Day is celebrated annually on June 14 in the United States. This day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777. One of the most recognizable symbols in the world, the American flag symbolizes freedom and liberty, and it has been flown by Americans since the birth of our great country

Let's Celebrate the Stars and Stripes with image of the American flag

Celebrate the Stars and Stripes on June 14 

By Crystal Niehoff

Outside the headquarters of General George Washington in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 1, 1776, the first unofficial flag was raised. It was then called the Continental Colors or the Grand Union Flag. This was done because the Continental Army was reorganized, placing the American armed forces under General Washington’s control by order of a Congressional resolution.

The flag had the British Union Flag in the upper left-hand corner since the colonies were still part of Great Britain. There was also another early flag bearing a rattlesnake with the motto, “Don’t Tread on Me.” At the time, the snake was the established symbol for America.

When did the American Flag become official?

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the first official flag of the United States. This was right after declaring independence from England. This flag bore 13 red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies and 13 stars set in a blue canton located on the top left-hand side. It’s uncertain who designed the flag. However, Continental Congress member Francis Hopkinson later claimed to have had a hand in its design. 

We also don’t know who made the first flag either. Popular belief passed down over the centuries that Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag at the request of George Washington. Unfortunately, there is no record of its creator in historical documents or the vast journals and correspondence from that time period.

Celebrating the Stars and Stripes

Since that day, the Stars and Stripes have been flown high all over our great country. And, over the years, stars were added as new states have joined the Union. As of this writing, Old Glory boasts 50 stars and13 stripes. The stripes remain to represent the original 13 colonies. As the number of stars has increased, the meaning of the flag has evolved over time as well.

Today, the flag proudly symbolizes freedom and liberty for all Americans regardless of race, color, or creed. The article, History of the American Flag published on PBS.org, explains that 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.”

Flag Day is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the flag and its extraordinary history. So take some time to research the flag and its meaning, and maybe even fly it yourself on June 14! If you do, take a picture and share it with us in the comments below.

About the author:

Crystal Niehoff is an Army chaplain’s wife, mom of five, and grandma to five. In the year 2000, Crystal and her family began their homeschooling journey, which continues with her oldest granddaughter. Previously a child welfare worker, and the former owner and CEO of Army Wife Network. Crystal also holds certifications as a birth and bereavement doula and chaplain. She hosts a weekly podcast for military homeschoolers, the Military Homeschool Podcast, and co-hosts History for Christian Teens, with her husband, Kevin.