Monday, December 30, 2013

Words Of John Adams

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." - John Adams

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Don't Mess With Texas

On this date in 1845, the Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States and becomes the 28th state in the Union, the only independent country which became a state in the United States. Today we raise the Texas flag as well as the 28-star flag.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Iowa Statehood

Today is the anniversary of the statehood of Iowa, which was admitted to the Union in 1846 as the 29th state. Today, in their honor, we raise the Iowa state flag and the 29-star United States flag.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Washington's Delaware Crossing

Today marks a turning point in the Revolutionary War with General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River in 1776 and engaging a Hessian garrison in the Battle of Trenton, where the Continental Army pulled off a major victory, capturing nearly the entire garrison while suffering few losses. This victory lifted the morale of soldiers and colonists alike and gave patriots new hope for the Revolution's chances in the long road to victory and freedom.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

Today is Christmas Day, celebrated around the world. It also marks the day of planning and preparation on the part of George Washington and the Continental Army as they prepared to board boats to cross the Delaware River...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

War Of 1812: Treaty Of Ghent

On December 24, 1814, the Treaty Of Ghent was signed in the Netherlands by delegates from the United States and Great Britain, beginning the process of ending the War of 1812. While signalling the end of the war, the treaty still had to be ratified by Congress and Parliament (which would come in February 1815), and several battles fought before peace was established, including the Battle of New Orleans, which would take place on January 8, 1815.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Thomas Paine and The American Crisis

Today marks the anniversary of the publication of one of Thomas Paine's most celebrated works, The American Crisis, a series of pamphlets published over a span of seven years during the Revolutionary War. The first pamphlet was published on December 23, 1776, and contained some of Paine's most memorable work. A few of those words from the first pamphlet include:

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
 "I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."

(from WikiQuotes)

Sunday, December 22, 2013


On this date in 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, American forces were surrounded in the town of Bastogne when a group of German soldiers passed a message to the American commander demanding his surrender. General Anthony McAuliffe, the American commander, was said to have reacted to the message by saying, "Us surrender? Aw, nuts!" The reply was then written:

To the German commander: NUTS!

The Germans attacked Bastogne, but the American soldiers held on until bombers and reinforcements could arrive. The Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive in World War II, ended in late January, and General McAuliffe's response was forever enshrined as a symbol of American resolve in even the most desperate of times.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Plymouth Landing

Nearly 400 years ago, on this day in 1620, the Mayflower landed at what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts. They had first sighted land on November 9th, and had explored some areas of Cape Cod in November and December, but today is traditionally recognized as the colonist's first arrival and survey of the Plymouth area, where they would establish what would become the second successful English colony in what would eventually be the United States. Today we raise the Massachusetts flag to honor their arrival.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Samuel Adams, Son Of Liberty

The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks....Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that "if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom." It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.

-Samuel Adams, Boston Gazette, 1771

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Valley Forge

On this day in 1777, General George Washington led his Continental Army into Valley Forge for what would be a brutal winter encampment where approxomately 2,500 soldiers would eventually perish due to exposure, disease and starvation. However, the remaining men in the Army would eventually leave Valley Forge a better army, due in part to increased and unified training during the winter, along with the knowledge that France had joined the American effort to defeat the British.

In their honor, we raise the Betsy Ross flag along with our own modern Stars and Stripes, which would have been impossible today without the courage and resolve of the Continental Army and George Washington.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Jersey Statehood

In 1787, on this date, New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the United States Constitution and join the Union, joining Delaware and Pennsylvania in the new United States. Today, we raise the New Jersey state flag and the Betsy Ross flag in their honor.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First Flight

The world has changed considerably in the past 110 years, since that day in 1903 when Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. On this anniversary of the first powered flight, we raise the North Carolina flag in honor of this historic day.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Boston Tea Party

Today marks the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when a group of men from the Sons of Liberty, disguised as indians, threw an entire shipment of tea into Boston Harbor in protest of the Tea Act, a tax levied on the colonies by the British Parliament. The Boston Tea Party was one of several actions which eventually led to the American Revolution and our independence.

In honor of those colonists who had the courage to act, we raise the Sons Of Liberty banner with the American Flag.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Bill Of Rights

On this day in 1791, the Virginia General Assembly became the ninth state legislature to ratify the Bill of Rights, which made the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution law of the new nation. Many of our personal freedoms we take for granted today - freedom of speech, the press, assembly and religion, the right to bear arms, and other rights - began on this day in 1791 following Virginia's vote.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Washington's Death, and Alabama Statehood Day


Today, in 1799, George Washington died at his Mount Vernon home. He was remembered by Congressman Henry Lee with these famous words:

"First in war—first in peace—and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and enduring scenes of private life; pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting...."

Today also marks the statehood of Alabama, the 23rd state to join the Union.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Always Ready, Always There

Today is recognized as the birthday of the United States National Guard. Thank you to all who serve our country and protect its citizens! According to the National Guard Bureau, the Guard is a direct descendant of the militias of the 13 colonies, tracing its history back more than 375 years.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pennsylvania Ratifies The Constitution

On this date in 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the United States Constitution. Only Delaware, which ratified the Constitution a mere five days earlier, has been in the United States under Constitutional law a longer time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Indiana Statehood

On this day in 1816, Indiana became the 19th state in the United States, the first of four states admitted to the growing United States in a four-year period (followed by Mississippi, Illinois and Alabama). To celebrate, we raise the Indiana state flag and the 20-star flag.

The 20-star flag was the first design change for the United States flag since 1795, and the flag which restored the 13-stripe pattern after the 15-star, 15-stripe flag design. The five stars added stand for Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mississippi Statehood

Today we celebrate the anniversary of Mississippi's entry into the United States as the 20th state in the Union, signed in 1817, by raising the Mississippi flag and the 20-star flag.

The 20-star flag was the first design change for the United States flag since 1795, and the flag which restored the 13-stripe pattern after the 15-star, 15-stripe flag design. The five stars added stand for Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Quote For The Day

If we lose the virile, manly qualities, and sink into a nation of mere hucksters, putting gain over national honor, and subordinating everything to mere ease of life, then we shall indeed reach a condition worse than that of the ancient civilizations in the years of their decay. - Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Declaration Of War

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan...

...Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God. 

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in a speech to a Joint Session of Congress, December 8, 1941

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was launched by Japanese forces, resulting in the deaths of over 2,000 Americans and the entry of the United States into World War II. In honor of those who lost their lives in the attack, flags are generally flown at half-staff every year on December 7.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Daniel Webster

God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it. -Daniel Webster (from Wikiquote)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thomas Jefferson

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.  - Thomas Jefferson (from WikiQuote)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Washington's Farewell

On this day in 1783, more than two years after the British surrender at Yorktown, General George Washington said farewell to the troops he had led through the War of Independence to retire to Mount Vernon. In many other countries, a military leader of Washington's stature and popularity could have taken control of the country by sheer force of will. That Washington did not was a testament to his integrity and commitment to a free and independent country. On the day of his farewell to his troops, we raise Washington's Commander-in-Chief flag.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Illinois Statehood

Today is Statehood Day for the state of Illinois, the 21st state in the Union. We raise both the state flag of Illinois as well as the 21-star US flag in honor of the Land of Lincoln.