Our country’s flag is the symbol of our country and our freedoms, and in many ways it is a large part of our daily lives. On June 14, 1777, Congress passed an act adopting a flag with 13 horizontal stripes, alternating red and white, with red on the top and bottom, and 13 white stars on a field of blue, to be our country’s standard. And so every year on June 14, which happens to be today, we celebrate Flag Day.
Our “Stars and Stripes” is one of the oldest national flags in the world, even older than the Union Jack of Great Britain or the Tricolor of France. It was designed by a committee chaired by Ben Franklin, after consultations with George Washington as the head of the Army, and first unfurled publicly by Washington himself Jan. 2, 1776.
The colors of the flag are frequently seen as representing the very character of our nation. The white in the flag is said to be a living symbol of our country being the “land of liberty.” The red signifies the courage and sacrifices of the nation’s defenders, and the blue represents the loyalty and unity of our citizens.