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Emblem of National Unity
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Dear Editor,
It was June 14, 1777 when the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia resolved “that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternating red and white, the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation,”
The resolution authorized a flag to represent the people of a new nation, a nations dedicated to the freedom of all its people, a nation to be governed by its people.
The resolution did not specify a pattern for the new flag. Therefore, we find many flags in our history with the correct number of stars and stripes but many different designs. It was not until 1912 that Congress enacted a law specifying a different design for the American flag. At that time they redesigned all the early flags. We have had 27 flags, popularly different star patterns since the first “army design”, known as the “Besty Ross flag” of 1777. The army showed these stars in a circle, showing that no state should take precedence over another. There has never been any real evidence to prove that Betsy Ross made the flag. Our second flag, “The Star Spangled Banner,” had 15 stars and 15 stripes representing the 15 states of that era. The flag was flown from 1795 to 1818. At that time, five more states joined the Union. At that time Congress passed a law limiting the flag to 13 stripes to honor the first 13 states.
Kansas joined the Union in 1861 as the 34th state. This was the time of the Civil War. A motion was made to remove 13 stars from our flag representing 11 states seceded and the two sympathizing states. However, President Abe Lincoln refused, believing that we were still one nation.
The 48 star flag was flown over our nation longer than any other star pattern. The 50 star flag was officially unfurled July 4, 1960.
The American flag was raised over a young nation of three million people seeking independence. As it waves it has become symbolic of the ideals of our forefathers through times of conflict as well as peace. It calls out to us as Americans, “Be loyal, but be just; have courage, surely but have truth; but always leave room for friendship with others.”
You carry your country’s flag wherever you go. You carry it by the way you think, the way you talk, the way you act. Never permit it to drop in the dust of greed or laziness. Never soil it with inaction when action is calling for, or with haste when reason is called for.
In 1917 Flag Day message, President Wilson said “This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our national unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choice’s are ours. It floats in a majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us -  speaks to us of the past of the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it.”
On June 14, fly and encourage other Americans to fly the “Emblem of our National Unity.
Thelma Hipp
Americanism Chairman Morrison-McFadden VFW Post 3111 and its Auxiliary