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Flag Day 2012: Celebrating the Stars and Stripes

A quick collection of how-tos and did-you-knows about the American flag.

Our grand old flag is 235 years old today, and while you won't find any birthday celebrations in Macomb, there are lots of other ways to honor the stars and stripes.

Residents can drop off tattered American flags for proper disposal by contacting local eagle scout hopeful Jesse Pomrenke 734-512-3621, raise their own flag at home or simply enjoy the hundreds of flags raised across Trenton.

The 50-star flag became the official flag of the U.S. on July 4, 1960. National Flag Day, celebrated each June 14, is believed to have originated in 1885, but it was not until President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress on Aug. 3, 1949 that the date became official.

To help you celebrate your stars and stripes, Trenton Patch offers these Flag Day facts.

Timeline of Flag Day

June 14, 1777 – Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the U.S.

June 14, 1885 – Bernard J. Cigrand, a Wisconsin teacher, placed a 10-inch, 38-star flag in a bottle on his desk and assigned essays on the flag and its significance.

June 14, 1891 – The Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia hosts a Flag Day celebration.

May 30, 1916 – President Woodrow Wilson issues a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day.

Aug. 3, 1949 – President Harry Truman signs an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. 

June 14, 2004 – The 108th U.S. Congress votes unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, WI.

Timeline facts courtesy of NationalFlagDay.com and USFlag.org.

How to Fold the Flag

Step 1: Facing each other, two people should hold the flag horizontally at both ends.

Step 2: Make your first fold lengthwise, bringing the stripes over the union area (stars) of the flag.

Step 3: Match up the corners, keeping the flag taut.

Step 4: Make another lengthwise fold, match up the corners and keep the flag taut.

Step 5: Keeping the flag taut at both ends, fold a triangle from fold to edge (start at the end with stripes). Keep folding triangles, making sure you keep a 90-degree angle and your folds are smooth. Continue folding triangles in the same manner.

Step 6: Continue folding triangles onto the union (stars) of the flag.

Step 7: Fold the last triangle and tuck the ends in.

For a video of this, visit the United States Flag Store's website.

Red, White and Blue Meaning

  • The stripes represent the 13 original colonies.
  • The 50 stars represent the number of states.
  • The colors of the flag have meaning as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor; White symbolizes Purity and Innocence; Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

Meaning courtesy of PBS America Responds.

Proper Display

  • The flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset. If the flag is displayed at night it should be illuminated.
  • Never allow the flag to touch the ground or the floor.
  • When displayed on a wall or window the union (stars) should be in the upper left corner.
  • The flag should be raised quickly and lowered ceremoniously.
  • The flag is often flown at half-staff to show respect for someone who has died. When flown at half-staff, the flag should be raised to the top for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should also be raised to the top before it is lowered at the end of the day.

Proper Display courtesy of PBS America Responds.

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