“After the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Americans realized they needed a national flag to take the place of all the individual banners carried by the various regiments – one that would symbolize the newly created union of states.
“Thus, on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress Adopted the following resolution: ‘Resolved, that the flag of the 13 United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: That the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.’
“However, Congress, in this short and hurried resolution, neglected to specify any other details of the flag’s design besides its colors and number of stars and stripes. This lack of specificity only served to spawn more diversity in flag designs.
“From 1777 to 1912, a period of 135 years, the United States Flag was officially changed 24 times! Yet, since its creation, the arrangement of the stars in the blue field, the proportion of the flag’s hoist to its fly, or the size of the stars and stripes to the overall dimensions had never been officially published.
“Then on June 24, 1912, President William H. Taft, signed an executive order prescribing the official proportions of the flag, the arrangement of the stars, and the relative sizes of the stars and the stripes.
“Although two additional stars have been added to the blue union since 1912, the proportional dimensions of the flag remain the same (the length or fly is 9’ 6”; the width or hoist is 5’). It should be noted that all U.S. flags are valid, and may be flown, and are due the same courtesy as the current flag. Nevertheless, when an historic flag is carried or displayed with a present-day flag, the modern flag takes precedence.
“The next time you see an American Flag remember that it symbolizes the freedoms our military men and women continue to bravely fight for and maintain. Remember that it represents the protection of our individual rights and privileges as American citizens under the Constitution. Remember that it also stands to remind us of our solemn duty as citizens to serve our country in time of need, to speak out for what each considers right, and to help correct, under the law, that which is honestly believed to be wrong for our nation as a whole.”
“I 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.”
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:12). May God continue to bless America!
(Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.)