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10 Interesting Facts about the US Flag

by admin on June 4, 2009

Another name for the American Flag; Old Glory actually refers to a specific flag owned by Captain William Driver. Old Glory was made with 24 stars and 13 red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. Old Glory traveled with Driver on his ship and circled the globe twice before retiring with Driver in Nashville. The flag was hidden away inside Driver’s bedspread in Nashville, when Tennessee seceded from the Union. When the war was over, Driver joyously ripped open his bedding to an astonished group of patriots to be proudly displayed for all to see. Sadly, due its fragile state and incredible historical and sentimental value, Old Glory’s last show was at the Tennessee State Museum in 2006. It now lives in the Smithsonian.

The red, white and blue stripes are strictly defined as Dark Red (Pantone 193 C), White (Pantone safe), and Navy Blue (281 C).

The current version of the US flag was designed by an 18 year old high school student, who only received a “B-“ for his efforts. Robert Heft, took exception to this grade, and issued his teacher a challenge: if Heft’s design proposal was accepted by Congress, he would deserve and receive an “A”. Heft earned his “A”, and by presidential proclamation in 1958, his design was officially adopted as the nation’s flag.

The US flag is never to be “dipped” to any person or thing, except in the case of a naval ship signaling to a foreign country’s ship.

If harm should come to the flag, it must be disposed of in a dignified manner; namely by burning; which is the proper way of destroying a flag that is long in the tooth. The flag must not be allowed to touch the ground, but need not be disposed of if dropped by accident. If the flag is displayed at night, it must be illuminated.

The US flag must not be used on any item designed to be disposable. Darn; there goes my flag coffee cup.

6 US flags are currently stationed on the moon. Must be tough to have them illuminated there. They were put there by Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Other countries who have/had flags on the moon include, the Soviet Union, EU and India. India’s flag is the most recent, and to be fair, their flag was not so much planted, as it was mashed as it hurtled towards the moon in a fiery collision.

When folded properly, the US flag is shaped like a triangle with only the stars showing. If you have exacting standards, it usually takes 13 folds: the same number of original colonies.

The original flag had 13 red and white stripes with a Union Jack in the upper left corner. There was, for a brief time, a US flag with 15 stars and 15 stripes, made to welcome Kentucky and Vermont. The US government reverted to the 13 stripe model as the new version of the flag looked too cluttered. This 15 stars and stripes version, however, inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner” in 1814.

The US flag bears a close likeness to the flag of Liberia; who is connected to the US through involvement in the slave trade; many slaves were taken from Liberia. For this reason, I would think Liberia would want to be as different as it could possibly be. The Liberian flag also has 13 stripes.

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