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June fourteenth 2014, Flags, Army, Anniversary, and a Sing-Along

It was a Saturday, not unlike a Saturday today, except Congress was in session. In retrospect, much controversy, and a great number of tears have fallen, both in sorrow and in happiness, from the fifth item on the days Agenda

Grunge textured flag of the United States on vintage paper
Flickr /

The year was 1777 and you will find written in the journal of the Continental Congress 1774-1789, in Volume Vlll, the following; “Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

“We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separate it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her...” attributed to George Washington

Born that Saturday so many years ago, is the flag we know today as the “Stars and Stripes,” or “Old Glory,” and let us not forget, the “Grand Union,” designed by Washington. The United States flag has changed its design more than any flag in the world, and was not standardized until 1912, and is one of the more complicated flags in the world, requiring 64 pieces of fabric to make.

When and where Flag Day originated is still an item of little discussion, but Bernard J. Cigrand is generally credited with being the "Father of Flag Day." The The National Flag Day Foundation contends the first annual flag day observance was held on June 14th, 1885 by Cigrand at Stony Hill School, in Wisconsin. And the 108th U.S. Congress voted unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Waubeka Wisconsin, on June 14th, 2004.

On May 30, 1916 President Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day.

Another birthday is celebrated on June fourteenth as well, The U.S. Army was founded on 14 June 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year.

This year is also the 200th anniversary of ”The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Originally written by Francis Scott Key as a poem in 1814 after the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Later it was set to the tune of a popular British song, "The Anacreontic Song" or "To Anacreon in Heaven," written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society; and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner." It was recognized for official use by the Navy in 1889, and by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916; a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931, and signed by President Herbert Hoover, made it the national anthem.

At 4 p.m. on June 14, 2014, the National Museum of American History plans to host the largest National Anthem sing-along. If you can’t make it to the National Mall in Washington, DC, you can watch the event online, register your singing event, and join in. I will. Remember how difficult it can be to sing the National Anthem, and the flubs by Roseanne Barr and Christina Aguilera? The National Association of Teachers of Singing has some tips for a perfect performance here.

Picture: US Grunge Flag here courtesy of Flickr and

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