In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. In August 1949, President Harry Truman signed the legislation and proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day.
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress of the United States approved the official design for the flag featuring 13 white stars in a circle on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes – one for each state. President George Washington interpreted the symbolism of the United States Flag this way: "We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty."
Most Americans know the story of Betsy Ross being credited with making the first stars and stripes American flag in 1777, but did you know that Samuel Chester Reid (August 24, 1783 – January 28, 1861) was the person who designed the flag as we know it today?
According to a scholarly article written by C. W. Tazewell on this web site: "Capt. Reid designed the third version of the Stars and Stripes in 1818 at the request of a Congressional Committee headed by Peter H. Wendover, Representative from New York City. The original flag of the United States of America was created by Resolution of Congress on June 14, 1777, with thirteen stars and stripes. The second Flag Act was passed in 1794 to authorize fifteen stars and fifteen stripes due to entry of Vermont and Kentucky into the Union. By 1818 there were twenty states and entry of others was expected soon. It was impractical to continue to add stripes as more and more states were admitted. So, Wendover's committee adopted Reid's proposal that the stripes be fixed at thirteen with one star for each state. On acceptance of the design by Congress, Mrs. Reid made the first new flag with silk provided by the government. It was flown from the Capitol dome on April 13, 1818."
Samuel Chester Reid was an officer in the United States Navy who commanded a privateer during the War of 1812 General Armstrong off the Azores, he took on a British fleet, delaying its arrival in Louisiana, and enabling General Andrew Jackson to triumph over the British at the Battle of New Orleans.
For many years, Reid was in an unmarked grave in Brooklyn, New York's National Historic Landmarked Green-Wood Cemetery, but his grave finally was marked on October 28, 1956 with a granite monument that describes his accomplishments and a flagstaff from which flies an American flag. The story about the how his grave was finally honored can be read on The Green -Wood Discovery Blog written by the cemetery historian, Jeff Richman.
Be proud of the flag and all it stands for! To read the flag code for rules of proper display of the flag see this link.
I am linking this post to Mary's "Mosaic Monday" event of her blog The Little Red House.Please visit Mary's blog today to see her beautiful photo mosaic and links to all the blog participating today in her event.