National Flag Day is celebrated every year on June 14th . It is our day, as a nation, to commemorate the birth of the flag on June 14, 1777 when 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that read.
Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.
It is pretty amazing to think that the U.S. Flag, which has stood for freedom and democracy for over 242 years, was established in just 31 words.
The flag is an enduring symbol of our shared heritage. A heritage that is marked by a revolutionary war, a great civil war, 2 world wars, numerous military engagements, national conflicts, and tragedies, all resulting in a great loss of life and limb for country. A heritage that gives ample foundation to the ideal that:
what binds us together as Americans is so much stronger than what separates us.
Perhaps there is no better example of this ideal than President Lincoln’s decision, at the outset of the Civil War, to leave the stars representing the states that had seceded from the nation to join the Confederacy on the flag. Lincoln, as if being led by divine guidance and inspiration, had a vision that America would hold up freedom and justice for all by putting a end to slavery, survive a great war and be reunified.
At the outset of the Civil War in 1861 there were 34 stars on the flag. When hostilities ended in 1865 there were 36 stars on the flag. Unfortunately, Lincoln never got to see the fulfillment of his vision of a reconciled United States of America. Instead, a 36 star flag raped his coffin as his body was transported on a funeral train from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois.
In 2018, on National Flag Day, I presented a “flag salute” at the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum. It was appropriate that this message was given in the halls that honor President Truman. For it was Truman who issued a Presidential Proclamation, later made into an Act of Congress, that established National Flag Day as a national holiday. A day, June 14th, set aside to not only commemorate the birth of the flag, but also to re-dedicate ourselves to the ideals for which it stands.
Below is a video link to the “flag salute”. May God continue to bless America.