Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the
Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible,
liberty and justice for all.
The Pledge of Allegiance
I - - Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge - - Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance - - My love and my devotion.
To the Flag - - Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom;
wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a
dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody's job.
United - - That means that we have all come together.
States - - Individual communities that have united into forty-eight
great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and
purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose,
and that is love for country.
And to the Republic - - Republic--a state in which sovereign power is
invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is
the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to
For which it stands
One Nation - - One Nation--meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible - - Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty - - Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one's
own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice - - The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with
For All - - For All--which means, boys and girls, it's as much your
country as it is mine.
And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of
Allegiance: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all.
Since I was a small boy, two states have been
added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of
Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer,
and that would be eliminated from schools, too?
The San Diego Chargers / Cincinatti Bengals
Over 400 Fire Fighters, Police Officers, EMT's &
Paramedics were on the field participating in the ceremony.
one dozen retired FDNY & NYPD personnel.
I am the Flag of The United States of America
MY NAME IS OLD GLORY
I am the flag of the
United States of America. I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia. The
Continental Congress adopted the historic flag resolution, proposed by the
marine committee; "that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen
stripes, alternating red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in
a blue field, representing a new constellation." I am more than just cloth
shaped into a design. I am the refuge of the World's oppressed people. I am the
silent sentinel of FREEDOM. My thirteen stripes with a union of thirteen white
stars in a field of blue represented a new constellation. A new nation
dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of mankind.
would often tell her children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends of the
fateful day when three members of a secret committee from the Continental
Congress came to call upon her. Those representatives, George Washington,
Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her to sew the first flag. This meeting
occurred in her home some time late in May 1776. She made me, the first
There's evidence a civil servant designed me, our first flag! No
other details were specified. Francis Hopkinson, chairman of a department of
the Congressional navy board, designed a flag using six-pointed stars in a
staggered row configuration.
Today fifty stars signal form my union,
one for each of the fifty sovereign states in the greatest constitutional
republic the world has ever known. My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and
spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country. My red . . . stripes
proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men and boys and the
self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers and daughters. They also
symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation. My white . . .
stripes stand for liberty and equality for all and signify the burning tears
shed by Americans who lost their sons. The Sons of Liberty flew flags of Red
and White Stripes. Some were vertical stripes while others were horizontal. The
British often referred to flags of this type as the "rebellious strips". My
blue . . . is indicative of God's heaven under which I fly, loyalty, and faith.
I represent these eternal principles: liberty, justice, and humanity. My Stars
. . . clustered together, unify 50 States as one, for God and Country.
"Old Glory" is my nickname, and proudly I wave on high. Honor me, respect
me, defend me with your lives and your fortunes. Never let my enemies tear me
down from my lofty position, lest I never return. Keep alight the fires of
patriotism, strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy. I shall remain the
bulwark of peace and freedom for all mankind.
I embody American
freedom: freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press, and the sanctity of
the home. I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to my land
by Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers - the Pilgrims, Puritans,
settlers at James town and Plymouth. I am as old as my nation. I am a living
symbol of my nation's law, The Constitution of the United States and the Bill
of Rights. I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy: "A government of the people,
by the people, and for the people." I stand guard over my nation's schools, the
seedbed of good citizenship and true patriotism. I am displayed in every
schoolroom throughout my nation; every schoolyard has a flag pole for my
display. Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge their
allegiance to me and my country. I fly in front of all fire stations, librarys,
and post offices and most parks.
I have my own lawPublic Law
829, "The Flag Code" - which definitely states my correct use and display for
all occasions and situations. I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set
aside to honor my birth. Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I
symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and
sorrow. I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in
trust for posterity. If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, I am
nullified and destroyed. You and your children will become slaves to dictators
and despots. Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.
I am the
inspiration for which American Patriots gave their lives and fortunes. I have
led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to the bloody swamps of Viet Nam. I
walk in silence with each of your Honored Dead, to their final resting place
beneath the silent White Crosses, row upon row. I have flown through Peace and
War, Strife and Prosperity, and amidst it all I have been respected.
more than 200 years I have fought in every battle of every war... from
Gettysburg, shiloh, Appomattox, San Juan Hill, Tripoli, the trenched of France,
the Argonne... Anzio, Rome, and the beaches of Normandy... to the steaming
jungles of Guan, Okinawa, Tarawa, Korea, and Vietnam... and the heat of North
Africa and the Persion Gulf and Afganistan and a score of other places.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings. I stand watch in America's
halls of justice. I fly majestically over great institutions of learning. I
stand guard with the greatest military power in the world.
Look up and see me!!! I am
confident, I am arrogant, I am proud.
When flown with my fellow
banners, my head is held a little higher, my colors a little truer...
I BOW TO NO ONE!
I am worshiped, I am saluted,
I am respected, I am revered, I am loved, I AM FEARED!
Faded or long
fogotten by some... but for those who were there with me, I was at their
I led Americans of every race and creed. I followed them. I
watched over them. They loved me. I WAS
I have been soiled, burned, torn down, and trampled...
on the streets of countries I have helped to set free. It does not hurt, for I
I have been soiled, burned, torn down, trample here...
in the streets of my own country: And when it is done by those with whom I've
served in battle or service and in protection... that hurts. But I shall
overcome, for I am strong.
I have slipped the surely bounds of earth
and from my vantage point on the moon, I stand watch over the world and the new
frontiers of space.
But, my finest hour comes when I am torn into
strips for bandages for my wonded comrades on the battle field..... And, when I
fly at half mast to honor brave Americans. Or, when I am draped over the casket
of someone who served this great country of ours at their funeral. And, when I
lie in the trembling hands of a grieving mother at the grave side of her fallen
son or daughter.
As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies
of my country, remind yourself that I am the flag of The UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA. That I stand for what you are - no more, no less. Guard me well, lest
your freedom will perish from the earth. Dedicate your lives to those
principles for which I stand: "One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all." I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a
battle for human liberty. I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on
earth. I am your Flag.
I am PROUD... "Don't
tread on me!"
God grant that I may spend eternity in my "land
of the free and the home of the brave"
and that I shall forever be known
as "Old Glory," the flag of the United States of America.
Long may I wave, long may I
© 2001 TheRecord /
photographer: Thomas E. Franklin
From design to creation to use and to
treasure and more: The TRUE STORY OF OLD GLORY!
original Star-Spangled Banner survived the September 1814 bombardment of
Baltimore harbor's Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy. Inspired by this
flag, Francis Scott Key wrote our national anthem to the tune of an English
The flag has had a colorful history, from
its origins in a government contract through its sojourn with several
generations of a Baltimore family to its eventual donation to the Smithsonian
Sewing the Star-Spangled Banner: Commisioned by the army,
Mrs. Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore, Maryland, a maker of ship's banners and
flags, manufactured the Star-Spangled Banner with assistance from her daughter,
Mrs. Caroline Purdy in her home. It was finished in a brewery as it became too
large to work on in the house. Mrs. Pickersgill did the work on contract with
the U.S. government for the sum of $405.90. Made of first-quality long-fibered
English wool bunting (for this type of cloth was not produced in America at
that early date), the flag was begun in July 1813 and completed six week later
on August 19. It was raised at Fort McHenry soon after.
A Large Flag:
Originally the flag measured 30 feet (hoist) x 42 feet (fly) and flew from a
flagpole about 90 feet high. The stars measure 26 inches from point to point.
Although this may seem an unusually large flag, the modern United States Army
garrison flag is almost as large, measuring 20 by 38 feet. Today the
Star-Spangled Banner's dimensions are 30 by 34 feet. The missing portions
apparently were cut off for souvenirs many years before it came to the
Smithsonian. Although it is possible that the flag was struck by mortar fire as
the British ships were retiring, the holes were probably not made that way. The
removal of pieces for souvenirs seems more plausible.
and Stripes: The flag has 15 stars and 15 stripes as provided for by the Act of
Congress approved January 13, 1794. Passage of the Act of Congress of April 4,
1818, reduced the number of stripes to 13 and provided for one star for each
state--a new star to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the
admission of each new state. The Star-Spangled Banner is one of the very few
15-star, 15-stripe flags in existence.
Over the years the
Star-Spangled Banner has undergone a series of transformations. When it was
made in 1813 it was a simple garrison flag. After the British attack on
Baltimore's Fort McHenry in 1814, it became a valued keepsake in the family of
Lt. Col. George Armistead, the fort's commander. It later became a national
The popularity of Francis Scott Key's anthem during and
after the Civil War transformed it into a national treasure. Since coming to
the Smithsonian in 1907, the historic flag has been a visible reminder of both
the ideals represented by the American flag and the need to preserve those
ideals. The Star-Spangled Banner received its baptism by fire at the Battle of
Baltimore on Sept. 12-14, 1814. That battle was one of a series of clashes
between British and American forces during the final year of the War of
British troops first attacked Baltimore, the United States'
third largest city, by land. Badly outnumbered by American militiamen, they
withdrew. British ships bombarded Fort McHenry, which guarded Baltimore's
harbor, for 25 hours. Maj. George Armistead, the fort's commander, refused to
haul down the American flag and surrender. Baltimore was spared, and the
British, daunted on land and sea, sailed away. The young republic rejoiced in
its against-the-odds victory.
From the poem to the national anthem...
On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key peered through clearing smoke to see an
enormous flag flying proudly after a 25-hour British bombardment of Baltimore's
A well known Georgetown lawyer, Key, was a
gifted amateur poet and hymnist. He was inspired by the sight of the American
flag flying over Fort McHenry from a ship in the harbor the morning after the
bombardment. He scribbled the initial notes for his poem on the back of a
letter. Back in Baltimore, he copied the four verses onto paper, probably
making more than one copy. The next morning someone printed the poem as a
broadside. Shortly afterward two Baltimore newspapers published it, and by
mid-October it had appeared in at least 17 other papers in cities up and down
the east coast. Soon after, Thomas Carr's Baltimore music store published the
words and music together under the title "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song
gained steadily in popularity in the years before the Civil War.
Even before "The Star-Spangled Banner"
became our national anthem, it helped transform the garrison flag with the same
name into a major national symbol of patriotism and identity. The melody to
which Francis Scott Key intended his poem to be sung was the popular English
tune known as "To Anacreon in Heaven." Written about 1775 by John Stafford
Smith, the tune was originally the "constitutional song" of the Anacreontic
Society, a gentlemen's music club in London named after the 6th-century B.C.E.
Greek poet Anacreon. It became extremely popular in America, where it was used
to accompany a number of verses, including the patriotic song called "Adams and
Liberty," before 1814. Key himself used the tune for his 1805 poem "When the
Warrior Returns from the Battle Afar." By 1861 it shared with "Yankee Doodle"
and "Hail Columbia" the distinction of being played on most patriotic
occasions. Nonetheless Congress did not make the song the national anthem until
A Flag Transformed Over the years the Star-Spangled Banner has
undergone a series of transformations.
Pres. William Jefferson
Clinton, speaking before the Star-Spangled Banner at the National Museum of
American History, July 13, 1998. From a military standard to the ntaional
symbol..."This Star-Spangled Banner and all its successors have come to embody
our country, what we think of as America. It may not be quite the same for
every one of us who looks at it, but in the end we all pretty much come out
where the framers did. We know that we have a country founded on the then
revolutionary idea that all of us are created equal, and equally entitled to
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Past custodians of the
Star-Spangled Banner have cared for it well. Three generations of the Armistead
family guarded it as the family's most cherished possession. The flag's
weakened condition was first recognized in 1873 by Adm. George Preble, who
attached a sailcloth backing to the flag so that it could be photographed.
After the flag was donated to the Smithsonian in 1912, the Institution employed
a professional flag restorer to replace the sailcloth backing with linen using
a patented stitching technique. Despite careful cleanings and specially
designed displays, the flag's condition continued to weaken as it aged.
From the day the flag arrived at the national museum, Smithsonian staff
realized that it was in a weakened state. It was still attached to the heavy
sailcloth that had been added in 1873. While this gave some support to the
flag, the backing was uneven, and the flag sagged and became distorted when
displayed. In 1914 the Smithsonian recruited Amelia Fowler, a professional flag
restorer, to preserve the flag. With a team of needlewomen, she stitched the
flag to a linen lining to provide all-over support. When the new Museum of
History and Technology (later renamed the National Museum of American History)
was planned, architects designed a special Flag Hall for the Star-Spangled
Banner. The design meant that the flag was prominently placed in the new
building's central hall.
The Smithsonia Institute
Restoration of Stars and Stripes will rely on modern
And for the first time since arriving
at the Smithsonian, the flag was hung vertically and displayed in its entirety.
The Star-Spangled Banner, like most objects, has gradually deteriorated over
time. Fibers in the great flag's wool and cotton fabric have been weakened by
almost two centuries of exposure to light, dust and other elements. The
Star-Spangled Banner Preservation Project aims to understand causes of the
flag's current condition and to design and carry out treatment that addresses
Except for two years during World War II when the
flag was removed for safekeeping, it remained on exhibit in the Arts and
Industries building until 1963. In 1907 Eben Appleton, George Armistead's
grandson, corresponded with the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore
about donating the Star-Spangled Banner to the state or the city. Eventually he
decided instead to place the flag on loan to the Smithsonian Institution. It
was folded and displayed in a case in the National Museum's Hall of History. In
1912 Appleton converted the loan to a gift.
The Star-Spangled Banner
Preservation Project is saving an American treasure: The flag that inspired our
national anthem. At the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, we
are engaged in a significant effort to preserve this icon, which has been
endangered by time, and exposure to pollution and the elements. Eben Appleton
donated the flag to the Smithsonian with the wish that it would always be
displayed for the visiting public. In 1914 the Smithsonian placed the flag in
the Arts and Industries building in a specially constructed glass case. The
case did not allow visitors to see the entire flag, but the portion that was
visible could be seen up close.
Conservation projects require
specialized skills, facilities, and equipment. The flag's size and its
tremendous value to the American people make this an unusual project. Follow
the Project's progress through this Web site and by visiting the Museum's
Star-Spangled Banner Conservation Laboratory. Piecing together the history of
an artifact--the Star-Spangled Banner, for example--is like solving a mystery.
Historians use clues from primary sources such as photographs, letters, and
newspaper articles from the same time period as when an object was made and
Did You Know?
Did you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for
the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?
Have you ever noticed the honor
guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13
You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies,
but we learn something new every day!
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol
fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks
a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain
peace throughout the world.
The 4th fold represents
our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God,
it is to Him we
turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine
The 5th fold is a
tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country,
in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still
our country, right or wrong.
The 6th fold is for where
our hearts lie. It is with our heart that We pledge allegiance to the flag of
the United States Of America,
and the Republic for which it stands, one
Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is
through the Armed Forces that we protect our country
and our flag against
all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our
The 8th fold is a tribute
to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might
see the light of day.
The 9th fold is a tribute
to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love,
loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made
this country great has been molded.
fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters
for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of
King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes,
the God of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents
an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father,
the Son and Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when
the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our
nations motto, "In God We Trust."
flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked
hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served
under General George
Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul
Jones, who were followed by their
comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces
of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we
There are some traditions and ways of doing things that
have important deep meanings. In the future, when you see flags folded, now you
will know why.
The Stars and
20 Star Flag
|The Civil War
|Grand Union Flag
Music on this site is best experienced with the Crescendo Midi
|A Short History of the Flags of the United
It was first decreed that there should be a star and a stripe for
each state, making thirteen of both; for the states at the time had just been
erected from the original thirteen colonies.
The colors of the Flag may be thus explained: The red is for valor,
zeal and fervency; the white for hope purity, cleanliness of life, and
rectitude of conduct; the blue, the color of heaven, for reverence to God,
loyalty, sincerity, justice and truth.
The star (an ancient symbol of India, Persia and Egypt) symbolized
dominion and sovereignty, as well as lofty aspirations.
The constellation of the stars within the union, one star for each
state, is emblematic of our Federal Constitution, which reserves to the States
their individual sovereignty except as to rights delegated by them to the
The symbolism of the Flag was thus interpreted by Washington: "We
take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by
white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white
stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty."
|The Sons of Liberty flew flags of Red and White Stripes. Some were
vertical stripes while others were horizontal. The British often referred to
flags of this type as the "rebellious strips". Before the Contenental Congress
made any kind of resolution determining the flag that the Americans would use,
a wide variety of designs appeared. While most of the first flags were based
loosely on British ensigns, the stars and stripes soon took hold.
|At the Battle of Bennington in August 1777 were two famous flags.
One, shown here, is called the Bennington Flag or the Fillmore Flag. Nathaniel
Fillmore took this flag home from the battlefield. The flag was passed down
through generations of Fillmores, including Millard, and today it can be seen
at Vermont's Bennington Museum. The other (not pictured) has a green field and
a blue canton with 13 gold-painted stars arranged in rows. General John Stark
gave his New Hampshire troops a rallying speech that would be the envy of any
football coach today. He said, "My men, yonder are the Hessians. They were
brought for seven pounds and ten pence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it.
Tonight, the American flag floats from yonder hill or Molly Stark sleeps a
was the favorite animal emblem of Americans. American colonists saw the rattler
as a good example of America's virtues. They argued that it is unique to
America; individually its rattles produce no sound, but united they can be
heard by all; and while it does not attack unless provoked, it is deadly when
you distrub it or step upon it. Hence the motto "Don't Tread on Me"
|The Gadsden flag was also used on vessels of the Continental Navy.
Patriot Colonel Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina designed it, copying a
design he saw on a banner. Commodore Esek Hopkins, commander of the new
Continental fleet, carried a similar flag in February 1776, when his ships put
to sea for the first time. Hopkins captured large stores of British cannon and
military supplies in the Bahamas. His cruise marked the salt-water baptism of
the American Navy and it saw the first landing of the Corps of Marines, on
whose drums the Gadsden symbol was painted.
|The Culpepper Flag (1775): A stylized version of the original "Don't
Tread On Me Flag," supposedly used by the Culpeper Minutemen of Colonial
America who had the slogan "Liberty or Death". While not proven, this may be
the infamous flag which was flown by the first Minute Men to engage British
troops in what shortly thereafter became the Revolutionary War.
|The First Navy Jack (1775): (also known as a Culpepper Flag) One of
the first flags flown by our U.S. Navy may have been an adaptation of the
"Rebellious Stripes" created at the time of the Stamp Act Congress. It featured
thirteen red and white stripes. Stretched across them was the rippling form of
a rattlesnake, and the words, "DON'T TREAD ON ME"- a striking indication of the
colonists' courage and fierce desire for independence.
|The Flag of George Washington. It became the symbol of our Union It
was common practice for Generals to have a headquarters standard, and George
Washington was no exception. The flag is thought to also have been the standard
for the Colonial Army, as the flag was present at both Battle of Princeton and
the Surrender of Yorktown. The original is in the collection of the Valley
Forge Historical Society.
On 14 June 1777, the Continental Congress
adopted the following resolution:
"RESOLVED, that the flag of
the 13 United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: That the
union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new
constellation." The thirteen stars and thirteen stripes
represented the thirteen original colonies: Connecticut - Delaware - Georgia -
Maryland - Massachusetts - New Hampshire - New Jersey New York - North Carolina
- Pennsylvania - Rhode Island - South Carolina - Virginia
|Our First Official Flag
Betsy Ross Flag Betsy would often tell her children, grandchildren,
relatives, and friends of the fateful day when three members of a secret
committee from the Continental Congress came to call upon her. Those
representatives, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, asked her
to sew the first flag. This meeting occurred in her home some time late in May
1776. George Washington was then the head of the Continental Army. Robert
Morris, an owner of vast amounts of land, was perhaps the wealthiest citizen in
the Colonies. Colonel George Ross was a respected Philadelphian and also the
uncle of her late husband, John Ross.
|Believe it or not, there's evidence a civil servant designed our
first flag! On June 14 , 1777 Continental Congress adopted the historic flag
resolution, proposed by the marine committee, "that the flag of the thirteen
United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be
thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." No
other details were specified. Francis Hopkinson, chairman of a department of
the Congressional navy board, designed a flag using six-pointed stars in a
staggered row configuration. (Note the similarity in the canton to George
|Today's Flag became the official flag of the United State on July 4,
This was done by an Executive Order issued by President Dwight
Eisenhower's Executive Order (#10834, published 25 August, 1959)
Ike made it clear that older flags would still be considered
American flags and could still be flown but the 50 Star flag was the official
flag. However, Historic U.S. flags are due the same honor and respect that are
given today's colors. When a historic flag is carried or displayed with a
present-day flag, the modern flag takes precedence.
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