The Continental Congress passed a resolution on June 14, 1777:
“Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”
Our flag has a simple and distinctive design. At first the colors did not have special meaning. It is thought that the colors were copied from the Union Jack, Great Britain’s flag. That seems reasonable, since so many of the patriots were born and lived under Britain’s rule.
In my research I learned that the color meanings came from the Great Seal, adopted on June 20, 1782: white, meaning purity and innocence; red, meaning hardiness and valour; blue, meaning vigilance and justice.
I also learned that the star symbolizes the heavens, the stripe symbolizes the rays of light from the sun. The thirteen stripes represent the thirteen original colonies, and each star represents a state in our country.
Tears come to my eyes when I repeat the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem. God has given me the privilege of living in a great country, a country with a representative government and the rule of law. A country that is governed by a Constitution that guarantees our freedom and rights. When I pledge to the flag, I’m promising to fulfill my responsibilities as a citizen.
The United States of America is not a perfect nation, just as its citizens are not perfect as individuals. Laws are broken, rights are taken away. Today we are divided in so many ways. Yet we are still one. It is my prayer that we can learn to work together again to promote what is right and just and good.