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Naperville
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The American flag dates back to 1777

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Above / From November 1 through Veterans Day, Rotary Hill along the Riverwalk will be emblazoned with a field of 2,019 American flags to honor all courageous and heroic military men and women , past and present. The Veterans Day observance at the base of Moser Tower also will ring out recognition the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I as well as the centennial year of the American Legion. Meanwhile, June 14, 2019, marks the 242nd year of America’s stars and stripes.  Celebrate that the American flag stands and flies for freedom. Let freedom ring. (PN File Photo)

Ever wonder how many American flags are visible from the Naperville Riverwalk?

The Exchange Club Veterans Plaza along the Riverwalk always is a place to pause and reflect.

On Flag Day 2019, as far as we can see, the American flag is highly visible from 13 locations along the Naperville Riverwalk under glorious sunshine. From the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 to the Lantern Tavern— and many points in between such as Naper Settlement and Naperville Central High School— American flags dot the landscape that can be viewed from the winding brick path of this patriotic city.

Naperville’s Annual Memorial Day Parade attracts patriotic folks of all ages.

Did you know?

Old Glory came to be as a result of a resolution adopted by the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress at Philadelphia on June 14, 1777. The resolution read: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”

Though not recognized as a federal holiday, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day in 1916.

Decades later in 1949, under President Harry S. Truman, Congress recognized Flag Day with an official statute. The statute requested presidents issue annual Flag Day proclamations, but did not designate it to be an official national holiday in the ranks of Memorial Day or Independence Day. Yet all presidents since 1949 have issued a Flag Day proclamation.

FYI about the original American Flag

Here’s hoping vexillologists will step up to share stories about the American flag that turns 242-years-old on June 14, 2019.

The first flag displayed 13 stars in a circle on a field of blue with 13 stripes.  The study of the history, symbolism and usage of the American flag most often credits designer Francis Hopkinson and seamstress Betsy Ross with creating the first flag, but that age-old story has been disputed by some historians and researchers since the days many baby boomers learned that narrative in elementary school.

What is known, however, is today’s flag has undergone 26 modifications since the 1777 version. The primary constant  in the design includes 13 stripes, representing the original 13 colonies. No other other country has changed its flag more than America.

No matter who gets the credit, the American flag always has stood for liberty and unity.

The latest edition, consisting of 50 stars and 13 stripes, was designed in the late 1950s by then-high school junior Bob Heft of Ohio to reflect the addition of Alaska and Hawaii into statehood when Dwight Eisenhower served as President.

A thought-provoking story by columnist Burt Constable in the Daily Herald on June 13, 2019, gives cause to wonder and reflect about this nation’s cherished freedom of expression, tolerance and independence.

The Field of Honor with 2,019 America flags will return to Rotary Hill for Veterans Day 2019. Flag sponsors will be able to purchase Old Glory ($40 each) for the week-long exhibit.

Happy Birthday, U.S. Army!

Furthermore, Flag Day is also the birthday of the U.S. Army, created in 1775.

Note other Armed Forces Birthdays: National Guard: Dec. 16, 1636; U.S. Navy: October 13, 1775 (Abolished Feb. 1781 – Reinstated Sept. 7, 1781); U.S. Marine Corps: November 10, 1775; U.S. Coast Guard: Aug. 4, 1790 and U.S. Air Force: Sept. 17, 1947.

A large American flag graces the Naperville Municipal Center near the Cmdr. Dan Shanower Sept. 11 Memorial and the Jaycees Park along the Riverwalk.

Consider paying tribute to Old Glory with a song in your heart

Amateur poet and attorney Frances Scott Key wrote a poem about the stars and stripes during the War of 1812 that became the lyrics for the National Anthem known as the “Star Spangled Banner.” Celebrate the history of the American flag on June 14 and every day as it stands and waves for the freedoms many protect.

You’re a Grand Old Flag

by George M. Cohan   (Written for a 1906 musical)

You’re a grand old flag,

You’re a high flying flag

And forever in peace may you wave.

You’re the emblem of

The land I love.

The home of the free and the brave.

Ev’ry heart beats true

‘neath the Red, White and Blue,

Where there’s never a boast or brag.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

 

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.

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