It proudly flies in the front of schools. It is raised in front of public buildings. It is displayed from the porches and in the front yards of countless homes around the nation.
It is raised each day at outposts in the far reaches of the world. It stands tall and is recognized before the start of sporting events.
It stirs patriotism as it is marched past us at the front of parades. It draws salutes from battle-tested men and women who remember what sacrifices must be made to defend it.
It covers the caskets of those who have died while fighting for our freedoms.
It is the flag of the United States of America, and we honor it on Flag Day.
It is the day each year we set aside to recognize the symbol of our nation. It reminds us that we should be thankful for the way of life we have lived under its brilliant colors for nearly 245 years.
Our flag dates back to June 14, 1777, when it was recognized as the national flag by the Continental Congress. It took until May 30, 1916, for the federal government to set aside a day to honor the flag and until 1949 for Congress to officially designate June 14 as Flag Day.
The original flag featured 13 alternating red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies. A field of bright stars was set against a dark blue background to represent a new constellation, the United States of America, that would shine brightly as a beacon of freedom.
Today’s flag with 50 stars flew for the first time on July 4, 1960. Our flag is the simple, yet powerful, embodiment of the freedoms we enjoy — the freedom to live where we choose, to work where choose, to worship as we please, to read what we want, to question our government and its leaders.
The flag represents the United States, all that is good, and all that is not always so good.
While we always will question decisions made by our elected leaders, we must always remember that the flag stands for more, much more, and it is that we must take the time to remember today.