This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for June 14, 2017: A Thunderstorm In Town

June 14, 2017: holiday: Flag Day

Today is Flag Day here in the United States. Two hundred forty years ago, on this day in 1777, the government officially adopted the Stars and Stripes as our national flag. The 50 stars on today’s flag represent the nation’s 50 states and the 13 stripes represent the 13 original states. The color red signifies hardiness and valor; white, purity and innocence; and blue, vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

The first time the American flag was flown on a foreign fort was in Libya in 1805; in 1909, Robert Peary placed a flag at the North Pole; in 1963, Barry Bishop placed the flag on top of Mount Everest; and in 1969, Neil Armstrong stuck a flag in the surface of the moon.

In 1914, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane gave a Flag Day speech in which he repeated the words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”