Monday might be Flag Day, an occasion that marks the day in 1777 when the Second Continental Congress authorised a design for the primary flag of america. 13 stars, white on blue. 13 stripes, alternating pink and white. Sounds acquainted?
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson known as the American flag “the symbol of our unity, our energy, our thought, and our function as a nation.” He requested that June 14 be celebrated annually as Flag Day, a day to consider the beliefs and ideas of the nation.
Though Congress made Flag Day a nationwide occasion in 1949, it isn’t an official federal vacation. Sandwiched between Memorial Day and July four, that are federal holidays, it’s usually neglected.
However not at Peter Ansoff’s home. He’ll hoist a number of the greater than 100 flags he owns on the three poles in his Annandale entrance yard.
Ansoff is a vexillologist. That is a crucial phrase for somebody finding out the historical past and which means of flags. As president of the 700-member North American Vexillological Affiliation, he enjoys sharing his information and love of flags.
Whereas some individuals see the flags as easy items of coloured fabric, Ansoff says there are different people who find themselves enthusiastic about what they characterize. His personal pleasure started when he was a toddler and got here throughout colourful photographs of flags in an encyclopedia.
“Our neighbors had a flagpole and I instructed my dad that I needed one too,” he recalled. His mom purchased him his first flag and sewed others for him.
Ansoff does not name himself a collector. It has some bizarre flags, however largely “I purchase them to fly,” he mentioned.
Some are copies of the 27 official flags that america has owned since 1777. Ansoff additionally has a number of unofficial American flags, ensigns (EN-sins) flying American and British service provider ships, and flags of different international locations. On July 1, a nationwide vacation in Canada, he hoists his banner of pink and white maple leaves. And if it is a chilly winter’s day in Northern Virginia, you may warmth issues up by flying the flag of a sizzling island within the South Pacific.
Ansoff can not (or doesn’t need) to decide on a flag as his favourite. For a photograph for KidsPost, he selected a duplicate of the Serapis (sir-APE-us) insignia, named for the British warship that American naval hero John Paul Jones captured off the coast of England in 1779.
Take a more in-depth look. How is it completely different from the 50-star US flag?
The unique Serapis banner was misplaced to historical past. However vexillologists like Ansoff hold their reminiscences excessive.
Flag Enjoyable Info• The story that Betsy Ross sewed the primary American flag was first instructed by her household nearly 100 years later. It’s identified that Ross sewed flags, however there is no such thing as a proof that he did the historic one.
• The large “Sequin Star Banner” that impressed our nationwide anthem in 1814 has 15 stars and 15 stripes. Through the years, items of the flag got away as souvenirs and one in all its stars was reduce out. What occurred to him stays a thriller. You’ll be able to view this flag, the one official American flag with 15 stripes, on the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Museum of American Historical past.
• The primary flag positioned on the moon, in the course of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, traveled there in a case hooked up to a lunar module leg to save lots of area. In all, six American flags have been left on the moon. In 2012, the US area company reported that no less than three have been nonetheless standing, though it’s seemingly that every one six have been bleached by daylight.
• The flags shouldn’t have an expiration date. It does not matter what number of stars or stripes you may have – as soon as a US flag, all the time a US flag, you’ll be able to fly any model you need.
• The 50-star flag has been in use since 1960, the longest of all official United States flags. Credit score for its design went to Bob Heft, an Ohio highschool pupil. He earned a B-minus grade for his American historical past class challenge; his trainer modified it to an A when the federal government adopted the design. Heft additionally designed a 51-star flag, which is on standby when wanted.