Five Facts About Old Glory

The flags flying at the Vietnam War Memorial

The flags flying at the Vietnam War Memorial

In honor of Flag Day, and in keeping with my year of growth and learning, I decided to research and learn more about Old Glory. Here’s what I found:

  1. Let’s talk Betsy Ross. I grew up in suburban Philadelphia and took many school field
    Image via HistoricPhiladelphia.org

    Image via HistoricPhiladelphia.org

    trips to the Betsy Ross House, often referred to as the birthplace of the American flag.  But, was Betsy Ross really the first person to sew the Stars and Stripes? There is no direct evidence to support this legendary story, originally told by her grandson, William Canby, in 1870. Historians have debated the accuracy of this history for years. Some say another person, Francis Hopkinson, deserves credit for the design based on entries in the journals of the Continental Congress. So, what do you think? Is the story of Betsy Ross sewing the first U.S. flag factual history or family legend?

  2. According to Fox News Magazine, the current design of the U.S. flag was designed by a high school student! I love this story.  Robert G. Heft completed the design as part of a high school project anticipating Alaska and Hawaii becoming states. His teacher gave him a B-, but later changed it to an A when President Eisenhower selected Heft’s design over 1500 other entries. How cool is that??!!
  3. Everyone knows the original flag had 13 stripes and 13 stars. Most know that, as states 15_starswere added, stars were added. But, did you know that when states 14 and 15, Vermont and Kentucky respectively, were added to the Union, stripes were added to the flag too? Strange, huh? By 1818, the flag reverted to 13 stripes representing 13 original colonies.
  4. Over the years, the star patterns have varied widely as new states were added. Mental Floss has some great images of flags over the years. I like this one.
    Image Via Mental Floss

    Image Via Mental Floss

    If you want to see them all, check out this page for a timeline of flags through the years.  Which is your favorite design?

  5. The Pledge of Allegiance, authored by Francis Bellamy in 1892, was intended by the author to be used by citizens of any country to show allegiance to their flag. As published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892, it read: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” It was altered several times before it finally became the Pledge of Allegiance we know today in 1954.

There you have it folks – a little trivia about the U.S. flag, affectionately known as Old Glory or Stars and Stripes.   I am proud to be an American, and prouder to know a little bit more the flag that inspires awe and stirs emotion every time I see it waving in the wind. Happy Flag Day!

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Summer Reading Day 1: I Discovered Kindness Girl

final sum read chall

It’s only Day One of the Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge and I have already hit gold.  For the first day I decided to search Google for “kindness blogs” and I stumbled upon Kindness Girl.  I landed on her home page but was instantly drawn to something called the Magic Wand Project For Kids.  Folks, let me tell you that this idea is just magnificent and, yes, magical too.  Patience Salgado overheard her children talking about magic one day.  The entire conversation is on her blog, which you MUST visit, but the quote that stands out was spoken by her 7 year old son Jack, “Magic doesn’t come from the world, it comes from people, and their kindness, that’s where magic comes from.”  Doesn’t it take your breath away?

In response to this conversation, Patience launched the Magic Wand Project For Kids.  She  placed 100 Magic Wands around her hometown, Richmond, VA, with a tag attached inviting the children who find the wands to do 3 acts of kindness and discover their kindness magic.  She also created a Facebook page where families could check in and tell stories of their Magic Wand experience.   I think every child finds magic to be fascinating and has at some point has pretended that a stick found on the ground was their own personal magic wand.  It is easy to see how thrilled a child would be to find a Magic Wand and, in turn, how excited they would be to do their acts of kindness.  The possible impact of this program is far-reaching.  Each child does 3 acts of kindness and then returns the magic wand into circulation for another child to find who will then do their 3 acts of kindness.  Patience has also made it easy for individuals like me to launch the Magic Wand Project For Kids in my neighborhood by providing links to download the tags and suggestions for getting started.  Let’s just say that I don’t think this is the last time you will hear of the Magic Wand Project on my blog.

The Do Good, Read More Summer Reading Challenge empowered me to actively seek out a new blog today and I am so glad it did.  I don’t know that I would have discovered this gem without the challenge.  Do you need some extra motivation to expand your blogging network?  Maybe you just need to find new inspiration and reading some new blogs will help you get there.  Perhaps you just love offering encouragement, feedback and constructive criticism to fellow bloggers.  If you fit any of the above categories, join me in the Do Good Read More Summer Challenge.  It is a small time investment to read and comment on a new blog each day but the return on your investment will be grand.  Click here to learn more about participating in the challenge.

Beanie Babies for the Troops?

Those of you with children undoubtedly have large collection of stuffed animals in your house. This is an excellent opportunity to talk to your children about helping others by donating some of their small stuffed animals to deployed troops. Josie recently went through her collection and we have a box of animals waiting to be sent. Seize the moment and put those unused stuffed animals to good work!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Key leader engagementYes, it’s true! We STILL put Beanie Babies and other varieties of small, plush toys in ALL the care packages we send to deployed Troops! 

Why? One Service Member told us, “…it may sound silly but the Beanie Baby brings an odd feeling of comfort to a grown man.”

Another wrote, “Every work center in my division has a Beanie donated by Operation Gratitude; they’ve become something like mascots to my Sailors.”

Here is an especially touching email we received:

“I really wanted to thank you, the volunteers and supporters of Operation Gratitude. We have started receiving the goodie boxes. Everyone who received the boxes was so excited today. Everyone has their beanie baby on their desks. One person’s box had a very touching reaction. She got a stuffed squirrel just like the one she gave her dad when she was younger. He had used Velcro to stick it on the dash of his truck…

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Random Act of Kindness Weekly Challenge

It was 90+ degrees in my neck of the woods this past week, and each day our mail was delivered by a truly awesome postman who was sweating his tuchus off while lugging a bag full of magazines and advertisements and, yes, bills too.  I also receive my mail on days when it is frigid cold with a foot of snow on the ground and when it seems like it is monsoon season in our neighborhood.    These guys have a really hard job, so this week’s challenge is to show our appreciation to your neighborhood mail carrier.  Maybe you leave a nice cold bottle of water for him or a thank you card or a gift card to the local coffee shop.   Whatever you do, just make sure your letter carrier knows how much he/she is appreciated!

English: USPS stamp showing a postman, from en...

English: USPS stamp showing a postman, from en.wikipedia modified by me. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Challenge:  Leave a note or gift of appreciation for your neighborhood Mail Carrier.

Oklahoma Military Needs Your Help

Operation Gratitude is a top-notch organization that offers support and care packages to members of the Armed Forces and their families. They are collecting donations to help Military families affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes on Monday. Please consider making a donation and supporting their cause!

Operation Gratitude Blog

63rd CST supports Moore tornado search and rescue operations
In the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma, we have found Military families and First Responders in need through Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma National Guard. We are preparing care packages and pallets of materials to send out asap (hopefully by Friday or early next week, and continuing as needed).

We welcome your help in collecting items and/or donating funds to help with the added shipping costs.  

Here are the most needed items — for your convenience, you can find many of them on our Amazon.com “Wish List”which ships directly to us:        

OK Support1. Nonperishable food: Baby Formula, Bottled Water, PowerBars, KIND Bars, energy bars or any other nutritious item that is both non-perishable and easily stored. 

2. ClothingAny type of new clothing: Men, Women and Children.

3. Entertainment items: Playing cards, books or any other entertainment that does not require electricity. 

4. Morale lifts:

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We’re Turning 10! Celebrate and Support the Troops with Us!

In case you missed it, Josie is donating her Chores For Charity earnings to Operation Gratitude this month. This organization makes it easy for you to show your appreciation to members of the United States Armed Forces. Check them out today!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Climashield Pic
Ten years ago this week, Operation Gratitude began in a very simple way, with a very simple purpose: To THANK our troops for protecting us and our freedoms.

Please help celebrate our birthday by joining us to support deployed troops, wounded warriors, veterans, military families and first responders! Here are some ideas — do one or do them all!

–Make a donation so our work may continue: Donate Online — every $15 pays our shipping and assembly costs to send another care package!

–Check out our Amazon “Wish List” of items that you can purchase and donate directly to us without the hassle of boxing them up and making a trip to the Post Office:Operation Gratitude’s “Wish List”

–Write a letter of thanks and we’ll send it in our care packages: Write to the Troops

Thank you for your generosity and support!

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