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11 FACTS ABOUT FLAG DAY
Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designatin June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.^
Below are 10 questions plus a bonus question about flags:
- Who designed America’s current 50-star flag?
- What do you call a person who studies flags?
- In what order should the flags of the branches of the Armed Forces be displayed?
- Who cut the American flag into pieces and was honored for doing it?
- How did a 1912 Executive Order change the way flag makers produc ed the flag?
- What are the exact shades of the colors blue and red?
- “Shipwreck” Kelly (1885-1952) was famous for sitting for long periods of time. What did he have to do with flags?
- The American flag first flew over a foreign fort in what country?
- What is meant by the flag’s own right?
- How many official United States of America flags have existed?
Some preserved flags commemorate historical events. What events do the following flag dates memorialize: 1812, 1861, 1865?
To see the answers click on MORE
- Robert Heft, 17, in Lancaster, Ohio designed it for a high school class project in 1958.* When he received a B- for his project he appealed the grade to his teacher, with the agreement that if his design was accepted by Congress the grade would be changed to an A. He succeeded.**
- A vexillologist is a professional flag historian.**
- The order of march is stated in regulation and calls for the Army to march first, followed by the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. The same would be used to display the flags in one rank, such as a Color Guard, from left to right. (Military Regulation)***
- Robert Peary, who left pieces of the flag scattered at the North Pole.
- Flag makers lost the freedom to shake up the arrangement of the stars and vary the proportion of the stripes.*
- The exact shades of blue and red are numbers 70075 and 70180 in the Standard Color Card of America published by the Color Association of the United States. In the Pantone system the colors are: Blue PMS 282 and Red PMS 193.***
- He set many flagpole-sitting records. He sat for 49 days on one flagpole. He once estimated that he spent a total of over 20,000 hours sitting on flagpoles. Flagpole sitting was a craze started in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1929.****
- Libya — over Fort Derne, on the shores of Tripoli.****
- The “right” as the position of honor developed from the time when the “right hand” was the “weapon hand” or “point of danger.” The right hand raised without weapon was a sign of peace. The right hand, to any observer, is the observer’s left. Therefore, as used in the Flag Code, the flag and/or blue field is displayed to the left of the observer, which is the flag’s “own right.”***
BONUS QUESTION ANSWER:
War of 1812 inspired the song The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key when he saw the massive flag flying triumphantly atop Baltimore’s Fort McHenry after U. S. soldiers withstood a 25-hour bombardment by British Warships.*
April 12, 1861 A 33-star U. S. flag flew above Charleston Harbor’s Fort Sumter, South Carolina, while Confederate troops shelled the Union-held Fort in a battle that ignited the Civil War.*
April 14, 1865 When President Lincoln lay dying in Ford’s Theater in Washington, D. C., after being shot in the head by assassin John Wilkes Booth “someone decided it wasn’t appropriate for him to be lying on the bare floor so they crumpled up the large flag that had decorated the front of his theater box and stuck it under his head.*
* Old Glory: Celebrate the Stars and Stripes on Flag Day, AmericanProfile, June 1-7, 2014