In the United States, Tuesday is Flag Day, an official observance in honor of the Star-Spangled Banner that represents the country.
A hundred years ago, President Woodrow Wilson established June 14 as a chance to “rededicate ourselves to the nation,” as he wrote in his proclamation. He wanted Americans to mark Flag Day to leave behind “every thought that is not worthy of our fathers’ first vows in independence, liberty and right” and instead “stand with united hearts, for an America which no man can corrupt, no influence draw away from its ideals, no force divide against itself.”
If you’re stuck at your desk instead of celebrating in the summer sun, here are 13 facts to share about the American flag, compiled from the History Channel, Mental Floss, ABC News and PBS:
The version of the flag the U.S. uses today is the 27th.
The 50th star was added in 1960, a year after Hawaii joined the U.S.
At one point in 1795 the flag had 15 stripes, one for each state.
Vendors often use the Pantone shades 193 C and 281 C for the flag’s red and blue.
The flag is always flying at the White House, Fort McHenry in Baltimore and the Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
Almost all American flags made today are produced in the U.S.
There’s no evidence Betsy Ross designed the first American flag, but she was paid at one point for creating “ships colours.”
Some people think Francis Hopkinson, an author, composer and signer of the Declaration of Independence, helped out with the flag’s original look.
The Pledge of Allegiance was penned in 1892.
It read, “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.
There are five American flags still standing on the moon, but they’re all probably bleached white.
In 1776, the year the U.S. declared independence, there were about 2.5 million people living in the country. There are now about 322 million.
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