The United States is celebrating Flag Day today in recognition of the historical significance of the American flag.
The American flag was first adopted on June 14, 1777, roughly one year after the nation issued the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from Great Britain. Since that time, there have been 27 officially recognized versions of the American Flag.
The latest change to the American flag occurred when Hawaii officially became part of the United States in 1959. The 50 stars on the current American flag represent the 50 states comprising the United States, while the 13 red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies of the nation.
According to Fox News, the United States has celebrated Flag Day for over 100 years. In 1949, Flag Day was approved by Congress to be a national day of observance. President Harry Truman signed the legislation into law, requiring the president to issue a proclamation in honor of Flag Day each year on June 14.
“Old Glory stands for hope, pride, and progress,” Biden said in this year’s proclamation from the White House. “It is stamped on our exports, hung from booming factories, and painted on spacecraft that travel high above our skies — a symbol of the American spirit that keeps innovating, building, and breaking boundaries. It waves for justice and equality. It adorns courtrooms and classrooms. And it presides over free and fair elections at polling places across the Nation, reinforcing the promise of our democracy.”
In his Flag Day proclamation, Biden said the American flag “embodies the very soul of America,” adding that the “Stars and Stripes” of the flag is a reminder of the nation’s unity.
“Wherever our flag is, it stands for freedom, justice, and opportunity; it is a beacon of democracy and the fundamental American promise that everyone is created equal and united in pursuit of a more perfect Union,” he added.