A happy (early) Independence Day to all fellow Americans out there. And I send out an ethereal “thank you” to all the soldiers who have died (and who currently serve) on behalf of this nations’s independence.
According to USFlag.org…
Sentimental writers and orators sometimes ascribe meanings to the colors in the flag. The practice is erroneous, as are statements on this subject attributed to George Washington and other founders of the country.
From the book “Our Flag” published in 1989 by the House of Representatives…
“On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution authorizing a committee to devise a seal for the United States of America. This mission, designed to reflect the Founding Fathers’ beliefs, values, and sovereignty of the new Nation, did not become a reality until June 20, 1782. In heraldic devices, such as seals, each element has a specific meaning. Even colors have specific meanings. The colors red, white, and blue did not have meanings for The Stars and Stripes when it was adopted in 1777. However, the colors in the Great Seal did have specific meanings. Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, reporting to Congress on the Seal, stated:
“The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”
Also this from a book about the flag published in 1977 by the House of Representatives…
“The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”
The quote below concerning gold fringe on the Flag is from the book “So Proudly We Hail, The History of the United States Flag” Smithsonian Institute Press 1981, by Wiliam R. Furlong and Byron McCandless. “The placing of a fringe on Our Flag is optional with the person of organization, and no Act of Congress or Executive Order either prohibits the practice, according to the Institute of Hearaldry. Fringe is used on indoor flags only, as fringe on flags on outdoor flags would deteriorate rapidly. The fringe on a Flag is considered and ‘honorable enrichment only’, and its official use by the US Army dates from 1895.. A 1925 Attorney General’s Opinion states: ‘the fringe does not appear to be regarded as an integral part of the Flag, and its presence cannot be said to constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statute. An external fringe is to be distinguished from letters, words, or emblematic designs printed or superimposed upon the body of the flag itself. Under law, such additions might be open to objection as unauthorized; but the same is not necessarily true of the fringe.'”
The gold trim is generally used on ceremonial indoor flags that are used for special services and is believed to have been first used in a military setting. It has no specific significance that I have ever run across, and its (gold trim) use is in compliance with applicable flag codes and laws.
AND, according to our friend Wikipedia: The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an oath of loyalty to the national flag and the Republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the national pledge in 1942. The Pledge has been modified four times since its composition, with the most recent change adding the words “under God” in 1954. Congressional sessions open with the recital of the Pledge, as do government meetings at local levels, meetings held by the National Exchange Club, Knights of Columbus, Royal Rangers, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Freemasons, Lions Club, Rotary Club, Toastmasters International and their concordant bodies, as well as other organizations.
According to the United States Flag Code, the Pledge of Allegiance reads:
- 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.
Also according to the Flag Code, the Pledge “should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute”.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898). Bellamy “viewed his Pledge as an ‘inoculation’ that would protect immigrants and native-born but insufficiently patriotic Americans from the ‘virus’ of radicalism and subversion.” The original “Pledge of Allegiance” was published in the September 8 issue of the popular children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. The event was conceived and promoted by James B. Upham, a marketer for the magazine, as a campaign to instill the idea of American nationalism by selling flags to public schools and magazines to students.
Bellamy’s original Pledge read as follows:
- I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.