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Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Editorial: Fly your flag proudly today

Last Modified: Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:50 PM

Today is the official Flag Day, June 14, in the United States and it is the perfect occasion to fly your flag at your home or business. If you don’t own one, this is the perfect day to buy a flag and flag pole and fly it.

The more flags we see, the more we will appreciate the principles upon which our nation was founded, and those who have shed their blood to defend our freedom.

The origins of Flag Day go back to the Revolutionary War when the new nation was in a real struggle to establish those founding principles — limited, constitutional government controlled by “We the People.”

It was on June 14, 1777, that the Continental Congress officially adopted the “Stars and Stripes” as the banner of the United States.

The resolution stated, “The flag of the United States shall be 13 stripes, alternate red and white, with a union of 13 stars on a blue field.” Of course the 13 stripes and stars represented the 13 American colonies which had united to declare independence from Great Britain.

At first, a new star and a new stripe was added with each new state joining the federal union. However it soon became apparent that this method would be impractical, since there would be dozens of new states added over time. With the 15th state, the design was frozen at 15 stars and 15 stripes.

In 1818, Congress adopted the final design for the flag, which would restore the original 13 alternating red and white stripes, and add one new star in the blue canton for each state that joined the Union.

Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30, 1812. Our 18th star on the national banner, however, didn’t get added to the flag until the Flag Act of 1818. Formed from the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the Territory of Orleans was established in 1804. The name was changed to the Territory of Louisiana, before it formally joined the Union.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that an official flag code was adopted, at the behest of veterans and patriotic organizations.

The Americanism Committee of the American Legion held a conference in 1923 with delegates from 72 patriotic organizations to adopt a universal flag code.

Then, on Dec. 22, 1942, Congress adopted Public Law 829, to enact a federal flag code.

The next step was to designate June 14 National Flag Day, which was done by Congress Aug. 3, 1949. Congress then requested on June 9, 1966, that the president issue an appropriate annual Flag Day proclamation.

Fly your flag proudly today, and remember the principles for which it stands.

• • •

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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