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:
- Let’s talk Betsy Ross. I grew up in suburban Philadelphia and took many school field
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?
- 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??!!
- Everyone knows the original flag had 13 stripes and 13 stars. Most know that, as states were 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.
- 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
If you want to see them all, check out this page for a timeline of flags through the years. Which is your favorite design?
- 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!
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.
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.wikipedia modified by me. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Challenge: Leave a note or gift of appreciation for your neighborhood Mail Carrier.