“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.”
The resolution passed by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, is a straightforward description of how our national banner should look. The delegates who approved the measure took their direction from George Washington, who needed a flag for his forces that differed from the Union Jack used by the British.
Though the flag has changed over the years — two stripes were added and then removed, and there are now 50 stars on the blue field — the design has endured for more than two centuries.
Flag Day, which is Sunday, commemorates the adoption of that resolution. While not a federal holiday, it reminds us about the origins of our nation’s flag as well as the rules for its display, care and disposal.
Consider it a good time to examine the flag at your home or business, to inspect it for wear and tear, and to replace it if needed. It is frankly astounding, given that so many residents here have ties to the military in some form or another, that one sees the U.S. flag so frequently flown incorrectly or left atop a pole when tattered or ripped.