When something is as iconic as the American flag, there are bound to be many legends and folklore stories passed around about its history.
Do you know the facts behind the fiction?
Fiction: There have only been a couple of different versions of the flag.
Fact: There have been 27 versions of the flag. I think that’s more than a couple, right?
Fiction: Betsy Ross created the flag for the new nation in 1776.
Fact: Although Betsy Ross probably did sew flags in her family’s upholstery shop, and she probably did know George Washington, most scholars debate or question the validity of this legend.
Fiction: The colors on the flag were chosen particularly for the flag for specific reasons.
Fact: The colors on the flag actually come from the Great Seal commissioned by the Continental Congress in 1776 and adopted in 1782.
Fiction: The Founding Fathers chose red to stand for courage and readiness to sacrifice.
Fact: Ronald Reagan stated this when he proclaimed 1986 the year of the flag. However, the closest interpretation we have from the Founding Fathers comes from Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress. He said, “White signifies purity and innocence. Red, hardiness & valor, and Blue… signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice,” when describing the colors on the Great Seal. The colors on the flag were chosen to mimic the colors on the Great Seal.
Fiction: The flagpole at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is the tallest flagpole in America.
Fact: It isn’t the tallest in America, but it is the tallest flagpole in Indiana and the National Park Service standing at 120 feet 3 inches tall. You can see a flag waving on it everyday, except in inclement weather.
Now that you know some fast flag facts you can celebrate with a knowledgeable nod to the red, white and blue.