Category — Historic Documents
Nothing seems to invoke feelings of freedom and patriotism for American citizens as much as the red white and blue. Seeing an American flag flying proudly on a bright sunny day can lift spirits and make one proud to be called an American. But as patriotic as most Americans may feel when seeing such a sight, many do not know the history of that important symbol.
It is common knowledge that the 50 bright white stars represent each state of the Union, and some know that the thirteen red and white lines mark the inception of our countries first original colonies. Seeing the flag flying halfway or “half-staff” is generally known that an important American has passed. But who was the creator, when was it created and what was the inspiration for our flag?
Betsy Ross was the woman who sewed the first flag. The year was 1776 and the United States was fighting for its freedom from the British. However there has been some debate over whom the creator of the Stars and Stripes was, it is likely Francis Hopkinson was the designer. No country is complete without a standard to symbolize who they represent. This was an important step for this young country in declaring independence and becoming a sovereign nation.
America’s first flag consisted of the red and white stripes, but leaned more towards that of its ruling oppressors, with the British symbol where the blue background and stars now reside. 1777 was the first year that the stars, representing states, was introduced. As the country grew and gained more states the number of stars went up until the 50 that is currently flying on today’s flag.
The colors of the flag were no mere accident either. Each color is representative of what America stands for. Red is representative of hardiness and valor, traits which the country has been known for, both in wartime and helping other countries in need. White is a symbol for purity and innocence, traits that are representative of the citizens of the United States. And finally the blue field, portraying vigilance and justice characteristics that America has been known for, treating all men equal and providing safety through a fair justice system.
America’s flag has many customs and traditions surrounding it which adds to the pride in its illustrious history. It has gained the nicknames of Star Spangled Banner, Stars and Stripes and of course the famous Old Glory. A flag was bestowed upon a young whaling vessel Captain, whom proudly referred to it as “Old Glory” as it flew on his vessels mast.
The United States flag, with all of its symbolism and history is now seen across the world. It flies above Americas Embassies and war zones around the world representing an idea and hope of freedom for many of the world’s oppressed people. It was a symbol to the British that freedom could be obtained, that justice would prevail and continues to maintain its highly regarded status to this day.
December 3, 2012 No Comments
Utah’s first flag was made in March of 1903 by ZCMI seamstress, Agnes Tuedt Frenelius at the direction of the Utah State Society of the Daughters of the Revolution. The organization received a request from Governor Heber M. Wells, for a flag to be display at the St. Louis World’s Fair.
The word “Utah” was added to the bottom of the flag sometime after 1905.
The flag above was adopted by Legislature as the state flag through SJR 17 by Senate President Henry Gardner on March 9, 1911.
Utah’s flag celebrates its centennial anniversary this year from when the flag was originally adopted in 1911. HCR 2 (Rep. Julie Fisher) reaffirms the statute of 1913 (the last code to describe Utah’s flag) and encourages flag manufacturers to follow current Utah code. The resolution provides an opportunity for Utah’s school children to learn about the political process while learning about the flag’s history and encourages future generations to honor the flag and those who came before us. Flags currently in use may continue to be used until no longer in good repair.
The picture above is a copy of the only known photo of the 1913 flag (minimal quality from an old newspaper). The description and colors were taken from language found in the Senate Journal and the original resolution found in the State Archives.
Below is the current Utah flag. In 1922, the “1847” was mistakenly put just above the “1896” and not on the shield, which does not follow the statute and has been perpetuated to this day.
Utah’s flag celebrates its centennial anniversary this year from when the flag was originally adopted in 1911. HCR 2 (Rep. Julie Fisher) reaffirms the statute of 1913 (the last code to describe Utah’s flag) and encourages flag manufacturers to follow current Utah code.
The resolution provides an opportunity for Utah’s school children to learn about the political process while learning about the flag’s history and encourages future generations to honor the flag and those who came before us.
Flags currently in use may continue to be used until no longer in good repair.
The graphic above is a representation of the flag based on the 1913 resolution, and the surviving photograph. The description and colors were taken from language found in the Senate Journal and the original resolution found in the State Archives.
The flag is based on the Utah seal approved on April 3, 1896 through H. B. 164 by Rep. Edward Critchlow, as required by the Utah Constitution. It was based on a design submission by Harry Edwards and Charles M. Jackson. The flag displays an American bald eagle, a shield and six arrows which represent the six Indian tribes found in the territory at statehood. Also displayed are the state motto, “INDUSTRY”, the beehive, the state flower the sego lily, (also adopted in 1911), the name “UTAH” and the year the pioneers enter the valley 1847. The shield is surrounded by two partially shown period US flags on staffs with the date of statehood, 1896 below. A thin gold ring surrounding the crest and gold fringe on its border finishes the flag.
January 31, 2011 1 Comment
One of America’s Charters, the “Bill of Rights,” celebrated its 218th birthday on Tuesday, December 15, 2009. With Virginia’s affirmative vote on December 15, 1791, they became the last state to ratify the first 10 amendments to our new Constitution. They are simply referred to as the Bill of Rights, but they are anything but simple.
The rights and principals adopted that day where some of the most important gifts granted to us by our fellow citizens. They were a revolutionary statement of protection offered to the common man and extension of England’s Magna Carta.
One sheet of parchment declared to the world that our citizens had the rights of freedom of Religion, and of Speech and Press; we could assemble freely and petition government for grievances.
Furthermore, it preserved our rights to bear arms, that our homes could not be taken over by the military, it protected us from improper search or seizures without a valid warrant.
It continued by addressing that certain crimes had to be put by a Grand Jury, and that an individual could not be tried for the same offense twice, nor be a witness against himself.
It clearly stated we could not be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process or property taken by government without giving just compensation. Speedy trails, impartial juries, being tried in the area of which you are accused, and that you may face your accusers were guaranteed. The use of common law, trail by jury, and that bail will be available and fines will not be excessively imposed nor will cruel or unusual punishment be inflected.
Finally, that the powers of the Federal government are limited and that all other powers lie with the States and to the People themselves.
We all need to read, understand, and celebrate these important doctrines. We learn them in school, but many do not remember them long after, and they are often taken for granted. Have you seen Jay Leno’s segment called Jay-walking, it is embarrassing.
Many of our forefathers died protecting these rights and you do not have to look to far in your own neighborhoods today to see someone who has served in our military, our legislatures or local governments, our first responders and our courts of law. These are the people on the front line of democracy.
During the last World War one of America’s great painters Norman Rockwell brought to life four master works known as the “four freedoms.” These paintings echoed some of the key principals forged in the Bill of Rights.
Take time and read this very short document that is so important to all of us, as citizens of this great land.
Show your spirit and belief in America, fly the Flag!
December 14, 2009 1 Comment