Fun Facts about our American Flag

June 13, 2019

field of american flags

Each year we celebrate Flag Day by flying “Old Glory” high. But where did the nickname come from? What do the stars and stripes symbolize? The American flag is an important part of our culture, so here are five facts to help you learn more about our star-spangled banner.

  1. The first American flag had 13 stars and 13 stripes representing the original 13 colonies. For each new state entering the union, an additional star and stripe was added, however the decision was made in 1818 to limit the stripes back to 13 (so as not to crowd the flag) and display one star for each new state. Today, the flag has 50 stars for each state and 13 stripes for the original colonies.
  2. The flag gained its nickname “Old Glory” from Massachusetts sea captain William Driver after he crowned the mast of his ship with the flag in 1824. Once retired from seafaring, he settled in Nashville, Tenn. and displayed “Old Glory” outside his home. Driver repeatedly defended his flag from defacement during the Civil War, and he flew “Old Glory” over the Tennessee statehouse once the war was over. Today the flag’s nickname has now become synonymous with any American flag.
  3. As a symbol of our country and its people, there are certain rules and etiquette for displaying the American flag. According to the U.S. Flag Code, the American flag should only be displayed on flagstaffs from sunrise to sunset and should be illuminated if flown after dark. It should also not be flown during inclement weather. To learn more about properly displaying he American Flag, read this article from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
  4. There are six American flags on the moon. The first flag was placed on the moon by Neil Armstrong in July 1969 as part of the first manned landing, known as the Apollo 11 mission. Five more Apollo moon landings have successfully planted five more flags on the surface of the moon.
  5. In May 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation declaring the anniversary of the Flag Resolution as Flag Day. President Truman later signed an Act of Congress in August 1949 designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.

Fly your American flags high and proud, folks!

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