Old Glory

The American flag during is folded during a retirement ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

The American flag is folded during a retirement ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

The American flag has been called many things over time. Stars and Stripes. Old Glory. The Star-Spangled Banner. But no matter what name it goes by, the American flag – and its emblematic red, white and blue – represents our nation and our ideals.

Today is Flag Day and like any other day, service members will raise our country’s colors over military bases and at sea, at home and abroad just like generations before them have.

Coast Guard Base Kodiak personnel and base firefighters attend a flag raising ceremony Sept. 11, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen.

Coast Guard Base Kodiak personnel and base firefighters attend a flag raising ceremony Sept. 11, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen.

Our flag’s origin is filled with many legends, but can officially be traced to the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.

This was the resolution adopted by the Continental Congress as they set forth the approved design of a national flag. But what started out as a flag of 13 stars changed and expanded, just as our nation has.

To date, there have been 27 official versions of the flag. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state on Aug. 21, 1959.

We encourage you to take part in this celebration of our colors by learning something new about our flag and its history. Or by talking with a veteran, and listening to their stories and experiences as they served under the U.S. flag.

No matter how you honor the American flag today, always remember what it stands for – enduring freedom.

Servicemembers from each military branch present the American flag during a Fleet Week Memorial Day ceremony aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Arthur Hudman.

Servicemembers from each military branch present the American flag during a Fleet Week Memorial Day ceremony aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Arthur Hudman.

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