Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Celebrates Flag Day - June 14th, 2004
Posted on 06/13/2004 9:18:03 PM PDT by Professional Engineer
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The first flag of the colonists to have any resemblance to the present Stars and Stripes was the Grand Union Flag, sometimes referred to as the Congress Colors, the First Navy Ensign, and the Cambridge Flag.
Its design consisted of 13 stripes, alternately red and white, representing the Thirteen Colonies, with a blue field in the upper left-hand corner bearing the red cross of St. George of England with the white cross of St. Andrew of Scotland.
As the flag of the revolution it was used on many occasions. It was first flown by the ships of the Colonial Fleet on the Delaware River. On December 3, 1775, it was raised aboard Captain Esek Hopkin's flagship Alfred by John Paul Jones, then a Navy lieutenant. Later the flag was raised on the liberty pole at Prospect Hill, which was near George Washington's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was our unofficial national flag on July 4, 1776, Independence Day; and it remained the unofficial national flag and ensign of the Navy until June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress authorized the Stars and Stripes.
Interestingly, the Grand Union Flag also was the standard of the British East India Company. It was only by degrees that the Union Flag of Great Britain was discarded. The final breach between the Colonies and Great Britain brought about the removal of the British Union from the canton of our striped flag and the substitution of stars on a blue field.
Meaning of the Folds of
The American Flag
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother's day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."
Story by Leo K. Thorness
You've probably seen the bumper sticker. It depicts an American flag, accompanied by the words "These colors don't run."
I'm always glad to see this, because it reminds me of an incident from my confinement in North Vietnam at the Hao Lo prisoner of war camp, or the "Hanoi Hilton," as it became known.
Then a major in the U.S. Air Force, I had been captured and was imprisoned from 1967 to 1973. Our treatment had frequently been brutal.
After three years, however, the beatings and torture became less frequent. During the last year, we were allowed outside most days for a couple of minutes to bathe. We showered by drawing water from a concrete tank with a homemade bucket.
One day as we all stood by the tank, stripped of our clothes, a young Navy pilot named Mike Christian found the remnants of a handkerchief in a gutter that ran under the prison wall.
Mike managed to sneak the grimy rag into our cell and began fashioning it into a flag.
Over time we all loaned him a little soap, and he spent days cleaning the material. We helped by scrounging and stealing bits and pieces of anything he could use.
At night, under his mosquito net, Mike worked on the flag. He made red and blue from ground-up roof tiles and tiny amounts of ink, and painted the colors onto the cloth with watery rice glue. Using thread from his own blanket and a homemade bamboo needle, he sewed on stars.
Early in the morning a few days later, when the guards were not alert, he whispered loudly from the back of our cell, "Hey gang, look here."
He proudly held up this tattered piece of cloth, waving it as if in a breeze. If you used your imagination, you could tell it was supposed to be an American flag.
When he raised that smudgy fabric, we automatically stood straight and saluted, our chests puffing out, and more than a few eyes had tears.
About once a week the guards would strip us, run us outside and go through our clothing. During one of those shakedowns, they found Mike's flag. We all knew what would happen.
That night they came for him. They opened the cell door and pulled Mike out. We could hear the beginning of the torture before they even had him in the torture cell. They beat him most of the night.
About daylight they pushed what was left of him back through the cell door. He was badly broken. Even his voice was gone.
Within two weeks, despite the danger, Mike scrounged another piece of cloth and began another flag.
The Stars and Stripes, our national symbol, was worth the sacrifice to him.
Now, whenever I see the flag, I think of Mike and the morning he first waved that tattered emblem of a nation. It was then, thousands of miles from home, in a lonely prison cell, that he showed us what it is to be truly free.
The flag on the moon represents an important event in vexillological history. This paper examines the political and technical aspects of placing a flag on the moon, focusing on the first moon landing. During their historic extravehicular activity (EVA), the Apollo 11 crew planted the flag of the United States on the lunar surface. This flag-raising was strictly a symbolic activity, as the United Nations Treaty on Outer Space precluded any territorial claim. Nevertheless, there were domestic and international debates over the appropriateness of the event. Congress amended the agency's appropriations bill to prevent the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from placing flags of other nations, or those of international associations, on the moon during missions funded solely by the United States. Like any activity in space exploration, the Apollo flag-raising also provided NASA engineers with an interesting technical challenge. They designed a flagpole with a horizontal bar allowing the flag to "fly" without the benefit of wind to overcome the effects of the moon's lack of an atmosphere. Other factors considered in the design were weight, heat resistance, and ease of assembly by astronauts whose space suits restricted their range of movement and ability to grasp items. As NASA plans a return to the moon and an expedition to Mars, we will likely see flags continue to go "where no flag has gone before."
Great post today we will always be greatful and love this great country,the men & women that have died to gives us this right deserve more than we can give.
I was once told that flags with the gold fringes around them are not true US flags representing the USA. I'm not too sure whether it's true or not.
FRINGE ON THE AMERICAN FLAG
Gold fringe is used on the National flag as an honorable enrichment only. It is not regarded as an integral part of the flag and its use does not constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statutes.
Records of the Department of the Army indicate that fringe was used on the National flag as early as 1835 and its official use by the Army dates from 1895. There is no record of an Act of Congress or Executive Order which either prescribes or prohibits the addition of fringe, nor is there any indication that any symbolism was ever associated with it. The use of fringe is optional with the person or organization displaying the flag.
A 1925 Attorney Generals Opinion (34 Op. Atty. Gen 483) states:
"The fringe does not appear to be regarded as an integral part of the flag, and its presence cannot be said to constitute an unauthorized additional to the design prescribed by statute. An external fringe is to be distinguished from letters, words, or emblematic designs printed or superimposed upon the body of the flag itself. Under the law, such additions might be open to objection as unauthorized; but the same is not necessarily true of the fringe."
It is customary to place gold fringe on silken (rayon-silk-nylon) National flags that are carried in parades, used in official ceremonies, and displayed in offices, merely to enhance the beauty of the flag. The use of fringe is not restricted to the Federal Government. Such flags are used and displayed by our Armed Forces, veterans, civic and civilian organizations, and private individuals. However, it is the custom not to use fringe on flags displayed from stationary flagpoles and, traditionally, fringe has not been used on internment flags.
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi guarantees a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."
Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal
The flag of our nation is described and specified at law.1 Yet today more than one flag is in use in the United States-one is red, white and blue, and the other is red, white, blue and GOLD.
In our history the national flag changed a number of times. On June 15, 1775, the Continental Congress appointed General Washington to take "supreme command of the forces raised, and to be raised, in the defense of American liberty." A battle flag for this force was subsequently displayed on the first anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in July 1777. A resolution passed by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777 (Flag Day) describes the official national Flag for the United States of America.
It had thirteen stripes and stars.2 A Flag with fifteen stripes and stars, known as the 1795 Fort McHenry flag, was authorized by an Act of Congress and was flown during the War of 1812. This flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner." In March 1818 an Act of Congress returned the Flag to thirteen stripes with 20 stars and ordered the addition of one star for each new State, to take effect the 4th day of July following the admission of that State.
A gold fringed flag is a battle flag reserved to the General of the Army for use over military headquarters and to display at courts-martial. The Commander-In-Chief, as the civilian authority over a lawfully standing national militia or Army, may designate that flag's use elsewhere. This gives a president, when acting as Commander-In-Chief, power to place the government's battle flag wherever he wishes to establish jurisdiction of the military force.
In 1925, an interpretation of statute law by the Attorney General of the United States clarified the intent and purpose of gold fringes or adornments to the national Flag to be within the discretion of the president as Commander-In-Chief. "Placing of fringe on national flag, dimensions of flag, and arrangement of stars in the union are matters of detail not controlled by statute, but are within the discretion of President as Commander- In-Chief of Army and Navy." 3 Thus, a gold fringed flag, often seen upon a staff or flagpole with a gold eagle atop it, or with gold streamers or tassels, is NOT the lawful, or OFFICIAL, Flag of our Nation.
A gold fringed flag used widely by courts, schools, service organizations and private individuals is NOT a symbol of our constitutional republic, or national Union of States. It signifies a military jurisdictional presence.
One official difference between the two flags is that when the fringe is placed around the Flag it denotes a military battle flag, not a national Flag. Now the lawful status of a Citizen becomes important. For in a military jurisdiction, where the court-martial tribunal displays the fringed battle flag, it may impose criminal sanctions for issues involving contracts, without due process of law. In a Judicial Department court under the national Flag, as described in the Constitution for the United States of America, as well as in State Constitutions, due process must be observed and followed, with all the protection of Constitutional Law.
The Founding Fathers, through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, secured the sovereignty of the States for WE THE PEOPLE. A flag of bordered design, like the fringed battle flag, denotes that the jurisdiction of the federal government is present. If the courtrooms in your State display gold fringed flags, who is exercising jurisdiction?
J. Krim Bohren
Hi Sailor. :-)
Thanks for the etiquette on raising the flag briskly.
One of my pet peeves and I saw a lot of it this past week was people mis-using the term half-mast for half-staff. As I know it, on land it is half-staff on ships it is half-mast.
Hi Diver Dave.
Like the poem, your work?
Thanks Gator Navy.
I've seen the flag raised and lowered to Half staff improperly at schools a few times.
I've seen this opinion too Sam. It appears to be an opinion held by some militia's and not actually true. I have the legal definition posted. The Gold Fringed flag was used at Reagan's funeral and I doubt we'd do that if it in anyway violated our flag.
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