Flag Day was Wednesday, June 14, which happened to coincide with the first day of the Summer Purpose Driven Leadership (PDL) course. We celebrated in style with all of us saying the Pledge of Allegiance, then enjoyed an overview of the history of Flag Day and the symbolism of the 13 folds of our flag.
From Reggie Battle, Supervisor at MSTD:
Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
Presidential proclamations and laws authorize the display of the flag 24 hours a day at the following places:
- Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Baltimore, Maryland (Presidential Proclamation No.2795, July 2, 1948)
- Flag House Square (Mary Pickersgill’s “Star Spangled” House)
Baltimore Maryland (Public Law 83-319, approved March 26, 1954)
- United States Marine Corp Memorial (Iwo Jima)
Arlington, Virginia (Presidential Proclamation No.3418, June 12, 1961)
- On the Green of the Town of Lexington
Massachusetts (Public Law 89-335, approved November 8, 1965)
- The White House
Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No.4000, September 4. 1970)
- Washington Monument
Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No.4064, July 6,1971, effective July 4, 1971)
- United States Customs Ports of Entry
which are continually open (Presidential Proclamation No.4131, May 5, 1972)
- Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Public Law 94-53, approved July 4, 1975)
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our Country”, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.
The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they are found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.
The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he too, has given his sons and daughters for defense of our country since they were first born.
The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation’s motto, “In God We Trust.”
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, Ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.
The next time you see a Flag ceremony honoring someone that has served our country, either in the Armed forces or in our civilian services such as the Police Force or Fire Department, keep in mind all the important reasons behind each and every movement. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.
Thank you Reggie for this awesome presentation!