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It’s a good time to look back at the history of the Stars and Stripes with Flag Day almost upon us (June 14th) and Independence Day just a few weeks away. Despite popular legend, most scholars now agree that Betsy Ross did not originate the American flag. Ross did play an important role in the American Revolution, though, as an upholsterer who also mended military uniforms. And, yes, the Philadelphia resident did make some flags for the state of Pennsylvania.
It's now believed that Old Glory’s creator was Francis Hopkinson, a delegate then from New Jersey who signed the Declaration of Independence, according to History.com. Hopkinson was a lawyer, judge, musician, and artist, who also backed the Constitution and assisted with its ratification. He later petitioned the government for payment for the flag design, though he was turned down, writes Britannica.com.
There are strict rules regarding the use and display of the flag. Flags should be illuminated by sunlight or another light source when on display. The U.S. flag should fly at the top of the staff, with the flags of cities, states, and localities lower down. When taken from poles, they should be kept off the ground. And flags technically shouldn’t be used as apparel, bedding, or drapes, despite what we see in so many of our stores and online.
This year, the Village of Schaumburg hosted their Flag Day celebration on June 3rd at Chandler’s Chophouse. Residents from Friendship Village were proud to participate in events that included a flag-raising ceremony, lunch, games, live entertainment, and more. With so many who are veterans, and so many who love history, Friendship Village residents, however, celebrate patriotism year-round.
Elsewhere, in honor of Flag Day, there are charitable efforts such as Flags for Fallen Vets, which works to place American flags across gravesites at each national cemetery.
The American flag inspires hope and prosperity for so many in our country, as well as for millions and millions abroad. Opportunities to celebrate the flag bring people together around shared values and a commitment to democracy. It all started with people like Francis Hopkinson and Betsy Ross almost 250 years ago.