The United States of America adopted our country’s flag on June 14, 1777, by the resolution of the Second Continental Congress. As we usher in the 241st celebration of Flag Day, we also celebrate the United States Army Birthday when Congress adopted the American Continental Army on the same date in 1775. Proclamation officially established Flag Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but it was not until 1946 that the Act of Congress established National flag Day to be recognized by the country as an official salute.
Everyone across the U.S. celebrates Flag Day in their unique way. Pennsylvania was the first state to recognize and celebrate Flag Day. All across the country of Pennsylvania during May, June and July you can see flags lining city streets, neighborhood yards and just about anywhere that you go. If you went out to the west coast and visited Fairfield, Washington, you could experience possibly the oldest Flag Day parade in the country that brings people from all over each year to honor this great country’s flag. If you have ever been to any military town, it is easy to see how patriotic they all are during the week of Flag Day. There are celebrations held in city towns to pay respects to this nation's flag and those who fought for our freedom.
The American Flag means more than just a cloth sewn together of the colors red, white and blue. The flag stands for hope. Hope for a better way of life. Hope for a nation where our children can grow up in times of peace. Over the last decade, we as a nation have seen a constant war that not only touches countries afar but on our soil. When a family says goodbye to their soldier, they hope for the day they see them again. We have lost many good men and women over the years fighting for our nation's flag and what it stands for to us; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, some of these mighty soldiers never get to come home to their families, and this has left a mark on our country far more significant than many can even see. Imagine never seeing your child, spouse, or father ever again. The American flag tends to take on a whole new meaning for those who have loved and lost someone fighting for this counties freedom. It is hard not to stand tall during the national anthem when it is played at a sporting event these days and shed a tear or two.
On Memorial Day this year, the 1st Western Conference between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors kicked off with an American Flag stretched the entire basketball court and military personnel dressed in their formal blues along the sides of it. The whole crowd stood and cheered excitedly in honor of our great nation and the men and women who have served. Even watching the game on the television you could feel the love and support for our country that I could not help but be moved. There is something about an American flag on a large scale waving in the wind that drives me to remember and honor those who paved the way so I could live in this great nation we call home.
The American flag represents and symbolizes our country. It is flown at all government buildings all over the U.S. Each color and star on our American flag have meaning and history of how this nation came to be. The American flag consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to individually as the "union") bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternate with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British Colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the U.S. People have come up with a few nicknames over the years for our nation's flag to include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and the Star Spangled-Banner. We even have established the Flag Acts which are three laws that sought to define the design of the American flag, but I think to each American it has its meaning. Though as a nation we may not always agree, we can agree that our flag still stands for freedom and a hope for a better way of life.
By: Jena Richey is the CEO & Founder of Trident Transitions Veteran Foundation. She has been a part of the US Navy SEAL community since 2006 and is an intricate part of the transitioning Special Operation Force community. With 13+ years of success-driven experience in resume/CV writing and brand management and consulting, she is bridging the gap between military and Corporate America. Jena is passionate about the success of the SOF community after the military and works tirelessly to ensure their success. She is always open to collaborate with like-minded organizations in order to assist elite military veterans into highly competitive job markets.