ESL Online Magazine

helping English language learners expand their skills and their lives

Flag Day, June 14th

June 14 marked Flag Day, the birthday of the American Flag. Supposedly,  George Washington asked Betsy Ross, a seamstress in Philadelphia, to make the first flag in June of 1776. Although we do not know for certain who actually made the first flag, we do know that a famous American and president, John Adams said, “Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.” America originally had thirteen British colonies that became the first states, so the first flag had thirteen stripes of red and white and thirteen stars. As America added states through the years, stars were added to the flag; however, the original thirteen stripes remain.

Paying respect to the America flag is important to most Americans. Burning the flag is illegal. Public school children often cite a pledge (promise) of allegiance (loyalty or devotion)to the flag at the start of each school day. The Pledge of Allegiance is as follows:

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.

The pledge has several vocabulary words worth knowing: indivisible, liberty, justice, and allegiance. When the pledge says that the flag “stands” for the Republic, it means that the flag is a symbol of the country.

Although not many events or celebrations happen on Flag Day, it is a day that many families will hang an American flag outside their home. How does your country honor its flag?


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