Friday, June 14, 2019

Happy Flag Day by Merrillee Whren

Today is Flag Day. I've done my blog post on the 14th of the month for a good number of years, and I often talk about Flag Day in my June blog post. The flag above is displayed at Ft. McHenry near Baltimore, Maryland. It was flown at the fort during the War of 1812. Mary Young Pickersgill sewed this flag design. This flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write the "Star-Spangled Banner," our National Anthem. We visited there last year. Did you notice that the flag has 15 stripes, as well as 15 stars? At one time they were considering adding a stripe as well as stars when a new state was added to the union. You can see how unwieldly that would be. Imagine 50 stripes on our flag. So they decided to go back to the original 13 stripes and just add the stars. I think that was a wise decision.

The photo above is of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. We often credit Betsy Ross with sewing the first flag, but there is no definite documentation that this is true. However, it is possible that she did. No one can say for certain. Below is a photo of the Betsy Ross flag.
You'll notice the stars are in a circle. Supposedly the stars were put in this design to show that none of the colonies was more important than the others.

Do you know why the flag is often called "Old Glory"? A shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts, Captain William Driver, received a flag with 24 stars. As that flag unfurled in the breeze, he exclaimed, "Old Glory." His exclamation became the nickname for all American flags.

Here are some other fun facts about June 14.  The U. S. Army was formed in 1775. Isaac Fischer Jr. patented sandpaper in 1834. Benjamin Grushkin patented Chlorophyll in 1938. Walt Disney's Bambi was released in 1942.

What was the most interesting fact you learned about the flag? I will give away a copy of the second book in my Kellersburg series, HOMETOWN PROPOSAL, to one person who leaves a comment. I've chosen this giveaway to go along with the post because of the flag on the cover. 

Merrillee Whren is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award presented by Romance Writers of American. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty-plus years, and has two grown daughters. Connect with her on her Facebook page and sign up for her newsletter.


  1. Merrillee,
    Flag Day is also my wedding anniversary, so the date has always been special to me and my husband.

  2. Thank you for these interesting facts. Happy Flag Day, Merrillee!

  3. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know about where Old Glory came from.

  4. You're welcome, Margaret. I didn't know that either until I did some research for this post.

  5. Very informative post. I have had a special place in my heart for our flag ever since I was Betsy Ross in a school event in 1976!

  6. I didn’t know about the flag with extra stripes. This was very interesting! My late aunt’s birthday was June 14th, so I always think of her on flag day.

    1. Pam, that was new to me until we visited Ft. McHenry. The ranger there was very informative. We got to hold a big flag with fifteen stripes.

  7. I didn’t know that the flag had extra stripes. I love your books. Thank you for the chance. Have a wonderful weekend

  8. Happy Flag Day! Today I signed the lease on my new apartment. I am offically no longer homeless. Love and prayers for a great day.