July 4, 1960
For the second consecutive Independence Day, Americans pay their respects to a brand new Old Glory, this one with an even 50 sparkling stars.
Locally, the changeover in our downtown area is a special project of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 924, which placed an order for new flags well in advance of July Fourth but was put off by the swamped manufacturer. …
Our American flag is unique among the world’s, in that it has changed and grown even as the country it represents has grown. The field of stars has been revised many times, and may possibly be again.
But the familiar 13 red and white stripes are enduring and always will serve to remind us of our small beginnings as a nation.
One of the earliest American flags to display those stripes was the Great Union or Grand Union flag, which was first used by troops at Prospect Hill during the siege of Boston in January 1776.
In 1794, the number of stripes was increased to 15 with the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the young republic. Then in 1818 the number was permanently set at 13 — for reasons of practicality but also by way of symbolizing the original 13 states.
According to legend, George Washington described the flag in these words: “We take the star 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.”
Whether or not it is merely a legend, it speaks volumes about our heritage. For we, today, are that posterity, and it is we, today, who are determining what our posterity will inherit from us.”