As I was taking pictures of our house for this blog post, I decided to do a bit of research about Flag Day. Here are some interesting facts:
- June 14th was chosen as Flag Day because the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag on June 14th, 1777
- In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14 but it wasn’t until 1949 that congressional legislation designated that date as the national Flag Day and it was signed into law by President Harry Truman.
- According to legend, George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the new nation in 1776. I have visited Betsy’s home in Philadelphia so I have no doubt this true.
- There have been 27 official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers’ preferences until 1912 when President Taft standardized the then-new flag’s forty-eight stars into six rows of eight.
- The forty-nine-star flag (1959-60), as well as the fifty-star flag, also have standardized star patterns. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state.
Since I am intrigued by words, here’s one last tidbit for today…you can use this information when you appear on Jeopardy like my friend Amanda.
- Vexillology is the study of flags. The word comes from Latin vexilla “little sail” + -ology “study of”
- The vexillum was a particular kind of flag used by the Roman legions.
- Vexillology is a kind of study of symbols related to heraldry.
- A person who studies flags is a vexillologist.
- A person who designs flags is a vexillographer.
Do you commemorate Flag Day?