June 12, 2012 — Thursday is Flag Day in the United States and every American should pause to pay homage to our national symbol.
Morehead and Rowan County are having their 32st consecutive Flag Day observance at noon at Freedom Park on the lawn of the old courthouse, now the Rowan County Arts Center.
The event is free and open to the public.
The local celebration was started in 1980 by Lloyd Dean, a retired teacher and minister, and one of our county’s human treasures.
Although nobody knows for sure who designed the flag, it may have been Continental Congress member Francis Hopkinson.
After Vermont and Kentucky were admitted to the Union in 1791 and 1792, respectively, two more stars and two more stripes were added in 1795.
This 15-star, 15-stripe flag was the “star-spangled banner” that inspired lawyer Francis Scott Key to write the poem that later became our national anthem.
In 1818, after five more states joined the Union, Congress passed legislation fixing the
number of stripes at 13 and requiring that the number of stars equal the number of states.
The last new star, bringing the total to 50, was added July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became a state.
We like what the legendary Barbara Frietchie told a Confederate general in 1862 as she proudly waved a bullet-ridden U. S. flag from her attic window in Frederick, Md.:
“Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, but spare my country’s flag.”
No one is likely to shoot at us for waving our flag but we should be anxious to do so this Thursday and every day that we enjoy the freedoms that flag represents.
Hundreds of thousands of American men and women have died around the world to protect the values embodied in those colors of red, white and blue.