Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Five Fun Flag Facts: A Little Flag Waving About Old Glory

By Heidi Lux
The stars & stripes, the star-spangled banner, our red, white & blue… We recognize it by many names. Finding a flag postcard circa 1912 with only 48 stars sent me on an intriguing research mission.
Here are a few things you might not know about the American flag.
1. While flag etiquette says the U.S. flag should be raised at sunset and lowered at sunrise, there are some places where the flag is flown 24 hours a day. This includes The White House, the Town Green in Lexington, Mass., and Flag House Square in Baltimore, Md. A special act or law and proper illumination is required.
2. The colors for the American flag were taken from the Great Seal. Red is for valor, white for purity and blue for justice. In printing, the colors used are Pantone Red PMS 193 and Pantone Blue PMS 282.
3. The person most likely to have designed the original official U.S. flag – with 13 stars and 13 stripes – was Congressman Francis Hopkinson. It is not really known if Betsy Ross sewed the very first flag, although it would have been a good career move.
4. The design of the U.S. flag has been officially changed 26 times. This was done in order to add more stars for the new states, not just for fun and to have another meeting. The flag still has 13 stripes for the original 13 states. It always starts and ends with a red stripe.
5. Flag Day dates back to the late 1880s when a couple of teachers (of course) at schools in various parts of the country started holding celebrations. Flag Day is officially celebrated on June 14, the same day in 1777 that Congress approved the original U.S. flag design.
You can see more antique and vintage postcards here:

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