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Saturday, June 14, 2014
WHY DO WE SALUTE ROBERT HEFT ALMOST EVERY DAY?
FLAG DAY EPIC—Being Flag Day, this blog found an
old chestnut to share. During the Eisenhauer era, when Alaska and Hawaii were
being considered for statehood, more than 1,500 flag designs were submitted to President
Dwight D. Eisenhower by Americans.
winner was Robert G. Heft, a then 17-year-old living in Michigan with his
grandparents. The teen participated in a school project to design the new
50-star United States Flag.
un-stitched the blue field from a family 48-star flag, sewed in a new field,
and used iron-on white fabric to add 100 hand-cut stars, 50 on each side of the
blue field.He was one of thousands to
submit a flag design with alternating rows of five and six stars. But
apparently he was the only person who actually stitched together a flag and
shipped it to D.C.
Robert G. Heft
19, 1941-December 12, 2009) originally received a B- for the project. After
discussing the grade with his high school teacher, Stanley Pratt, it was agreed
that if the flag was accepted by the United States Congress, the grade would be
reconsidered. Heft's flag design
was chosen and adopted by presidential proclamation August 21, 1959 after
Alaska and before Hawaii were admitted into the union in 1959. According to Heft, his teacher honored
their agreement and changed his grade to an A for the project.
flag that Heft made is soiled and faded from frequent display. It has flown
over every state capital building and over 88 U.S. embassies. An uneven patch
at a lower corner is evidence of an attack on the embassy in Saigon in 1967.
So, when we
salute Old Glory (at least since 1959) we in a small way also honor Robert G.
Heft, a lifelong bachelor, teacher, college professor and mayor of a small town
in Michigan.And, proud American.
FLAG DAY FACTOIDS (SAY UNCLE SAM AND
of the flag: Stars and Stripes, Old Glory and The Star-Spangled Banner.
law:The U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1,
Section 8 (j) says “The flag represents a living country and is itself
considered a living thing.”
4, 1818, an act of Congress provided for 13 stripes and star for each state, to
be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of
each new state.It was signed into law by
President James Monroe.
24, 1912, an executive order of President William Taft established proportions
of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of
eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
the flag consists of 13 horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six
stripes represent the original 13 colonies that rebelled against the British
monarchy and became the first states in the Union.The stars represent the 50 states of the
colors: The colors of the flag are symbolic.Red for Hardiness and Valor; White for Purity and Innocence and Blue for
Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.The
red, white and blue stripes are strictly defined as Dark Red (Pantone 193C),
White (Pantone safe), and Navy Blue (281C).
holidays when the flag is prominently displayed: Memorial Day, Veterans Day,
President’s Day, Flag Day and Independence Day.
governors and the President of the United States order when the flags on
government buildings are to be set at half staff.
folded properly, the U.S. flag is shaped like a triangle with only the stars
showing.If you have exacting standards,
it usually takes 13 folds to make the triangle.
U.S. postage stamp to feature the flag as the sole subject was issued July 4,
flags are currently stationed on the moon.They were placed there by Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17.
places the flag will flown half-staff: the battlefield and the moon.
flag is flying upside down, this is a distress signal.
ONE FLAG DAY REMEMBRANCE--By Mike Dalka (http://www.usflag.org/)--My
Grandfather was a glider infantryman in WWII, an advisor in Korea, and lost one
of his sons, my uncle Gary Edwards, in Vietnam. I worked in his auto repair
station during high school and he flew his flag in front daily.
while I was sweeping the oil dry out of the bays it began to sprinkle rain. He
told me to go get the flag and I said "gimme a second."
"It is raining, go get the flag NOW."
popped off my mouth about how he should cool it, it isn't going to melt or some
such typical teenage comment.
grandfather is the toughest man I've ever met. He explained once that he
thought basic training was some sort of country club during WWII, because he
was used to hard work anyway, and at home he didn't have indoor toilets or hot
And when I
said whatever it was that I said to him, he turned deep crimson and I thought,
"God save me, he's going to kill me for talking back."
tears welled up in his eyes and he squeaked out "You don't understand what
this family has paid for the right to fly that flag."
turned his back on me and went out and got the flag. I just stood there feeling
like the smallest person to ever live.
cut me so deep. I wish the entire country could have heard them.
Sgt. William Carney
IT NEVER TOUCHED THE GROUND--Second Battle ofFt. Wagner, July 1863. The men of the Federal
54th Massachusetts were hailed for their valor. William Carney, an
African-American sergeant with the 54th, is considered the first black
recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions that day in recovering and
returning the unit's U.S. Flag to Union lines. Their conduct improved the
reputation of African Americans as soldiers, leading to greater Union
recruitment of African-Americans, which strengthened the Northern states' numerical
wounded, Sgt. Carney saw that the color bearer had been shot down a few feet
away. Carney summoned all his strength to retrieve the fallen colors and
continued the charge. During the charge Carney was shot several more times, yet
he kept the colors flying high. Once delivering the flag back to his regiment,
he shouted "The Old Flag never touched the ground!"
Julia Mancuso wraps the U.S. flag around her shoulders after medal ceremonies at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.