Flag Day celebrated at Walterboro Elks Lodge

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By Vicki Brown National Flag Day is observed on June 14th every year. The day honors the flag of the United States. The holiday commemorates the date in 1777 when the United States approved the design for its first national flag. The local Elk’s Lodge #1988 celebrated Flag Day with a ceremony to honor the United States flag. Members of Walterboro’s VFW, veterans, Lodge members and friends gathered to pay tribute to the flags of the U.S., past and present. According to the History Almanac, the “Stars and Stripes” was adopted by the Continental Congress as the official American flag on June 14, 1777, during the Revolutionary War. Previously, colonists fighting in the Revolution had used flags sponsored by their own personal colony. Some of the flags featured symbols like rattlesnakes, pine trees, eagles with slogans like “Don’t Tread on Me,” “Conquer or Die,” and “Liberty or Death.” When the Declaration of Independence was written and war officially declared, adopting an American flag that united everyone became necessary. On the 14th of June, Congress made the following resolution: “The flag of the United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white on a blue field …” The official announcement of the new flag was not made until Sept. 3, 1777. The war lasted seven years, from 1775 to 1782. According to the Constitution Daily, after a vicious British attack on Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key, who was being held prisoner on enemy, awakened on September 14, 1814, looked through his spyglass, and saw this nation’s 15-star, 15-stripe flag waving over the fort. He spent the next two days waiting to be freed by the British and writing a song celebrating the Americans’ resistance. Originally titled “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” it was soon called “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the flag it features.

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