For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation's strength and unity. It's been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. And the American Flag has been a prominent icon in our national history. Here are the highlights of its unique past.
On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution which placed American forces under George Washington's control. On that New Year's Day the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston which had been taken over by the British Army. Washington ordered the Grand Union flag hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).
In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.
On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."
Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
When to display the American Flag
The flag should be displayed, from sunrise to sunset,
on all days when the weather permits.
It can also be displayed during the night
as long as the display is lit.
Holidays it should be flown/dispalayed are listed.
New Year's Day, January 1
Martin Luther King Day - Third Monday in January
Lincoln's Birthday, February 12
Washington's Birthday, February 22
Easter Sunday (variable)
Mother's Day, Second Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day, Third Saturday in May
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), Last Monday in May.
Flag Day, June 14th
Independence Day, July 4th
Labor Day, First Monday in September
Constitution Day, September 17th
Columbus Day, October 12th
Veterans Day, November 11th
Thanksgiving Day, Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day, December 25th
Election Days (various)
Federally observed dates of the above holidays which may be different from the actual dates
Such days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
State and Local Holidays
Your State Birthday (February 6, 1788 is Massachusetts' date of admission to the Union)