Happy Independence Day!

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DrapeStyle wishes you and your family a happy 4th of July.  In honor of our nations independence, here is a little information about our country’s flag:

 

The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the “union”), bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed starts arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars.  The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 state of the United states of America, and the thirteen stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain and became the first states in the United States.

The current design of the U.S. flag is its 27th.  The design of the flag has been modified officially 26 times since 1777.  The 48-star flag was in effect for 47 years until the 49-star version became official on July 4, 1959.  The 50-star flag was ordered by former president Eisenhower on August 21, 1959 and was adopted in July 1960. It is the longest-used version of the U.S. flag and has been in use for over 55 years.

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Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey, a naval flag designer, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, designed the 1777 flag while he was the Chairman of the Continental Navy Board’s Middle Department.

The origin of the stars and stripes design has been muddled by a story disseminated by the descendants of Betsy Ross. The apocryphal story credits Betsy Ross for sewing the first flag from a pencil sketch handed to her by George Washington. No evidence for this exists either in the diaries of George Washington nor in the records of the Continental Congress. Indeed, nearly a century passed before Ross’ grandson, William Canby, first publicly suggested the story in 1870.  By her family’s own admission, Ross ran an upholstery business, and she had never made a flag as of the supposed visit in June 1776.  Furthermore, her grandson admitted that his own search through the Journals of Congress and other official records failed to find corroboration of his grandmother’s story.

The family of Rebecca Young claimed that she sewed the first flag.  Young’s daughter was Mary Pickersgill, who made the Star Spangled Banner Flag.  According to rumor, the Washington family coat of arms, shown in a 15th-century window of Selby Abbey, was the origin of the stars and stripes.

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The flag is customarily flown year-round at most public buildings, and it is not unusual to find private houses flying full-size flags.  Some private use is year-round, but becomes widespread on civic holidays like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Presidents’ Day, Flag Day, and on Independence Day.  On Memorial Day it is common to place small flags by war memorials and next to the graves of U.S. war veterans.  Also on Memorial Day it is common to fly the flag at half staff, until noon, in remembrance of those who lost their lives fighting in U.S. wars.

So today, fly your flag proudly in honor of America’s Independence.  DrapeStyle will be closed on Monday, July 4th.  We will be back on the 5th to help you with your window treatment needs.  In the meantime, you may contact us and leave a message, and we contact you when we return.

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