Friday, January 31, 2014

Gouverneur Morris

Today is the birthday of Gouverneur Morris, patriot and Founding Father who is said to have been one of the chief authors of the United States Constitution as it reads today, witnessed the French Revolution, then later served as senator from New York and chairman of the Erie Canal Commission. We raise the New York state flag (his state of birth) in his honor.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

USS Monitor

On January 30, 1862, the first Union ironclad warship, the USS Monitor, was launched for the first time. She would be officially commissioned in February, then join in battle against the CSS Virginia on March 9th in the world's first battle between ironclad vessels. The battle, which ended in a draw at the entrance to the James River, changed the strategies of naval warfare from that point on.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kansas Joins The Union

Today is the anniversary of Kansas statehood, joining the Union in 1861 as the 34th state. Years of contention between pro-slave and pro-free groups, sometimes coming to violence, culminated in Kansas joining the United States as a free state just prior to the beginning of the Civil War. We raise the Kansas flag and the 34-star United States flag today, the country's standard through the first two years of the Civil War.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

George Washington

Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
-George Washington, 1776

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Noble Train Of Artillery

On this date in 1776, Henry Knox reported to General George Washington that cannon he had transported from forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point in upstate New York had finally arrived at besieged Boston. The move had taken six weeks to accomplish, involving men and oxen moving 60 tons of cannons and other supplies approxomately 300 miles in the middle of winter. Once the cannons were deployed at Dorchester Heights, the British withdrew their fleet from Boston Harbor, ending the siege. Knox would continue to serve under Washington through the Revolutionary War, eventually becoming the United States' first Secretary of War in 1789.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Michigan Statehood

On this date in 1837, Michigan became the 26th state in the United States. The star was added later in the year, and the 26-star flag remained the standard for the next 8 years until Florida's star was added in 1845. We raise both the 26-star flag and Michigan's flag today.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Abraham Lincoln

Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular the laws of the country, and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor—let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty.
-Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wisdom Of Jefferson

Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.

-Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Strenuous Life

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
-Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ethan Allen

Today is the birthdate of Ethan Allen in 1738, patriot and hero who (with Benedict Arnold) captured Fort Ticonderoga and was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. In his honor, we raise the flag of the Green Mountain Boys, a group of militia who Allen helped form and also was their first commander.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Richard Henry Lee

Today we honor the birthdate of Richard Henry Lee, born in 1732, a statesman in the Continental Congress as well as a senator from Virginia following the adoption of the Constitution, and the man who presented the Continental Congress in 1776 with a resolution from Virginia:

"Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Daniel Webster Birthday

Today we celebrate the birthdate of Daniel Webster, born in 1782 in New Hampshire. One of the great oraters of his time, Webster was a member of the House of Representatives (representing both New Hampshire and Massachusetts in his career), a Senator and Secretary of State to three presidents. In his honor we raise the New Hampshire and Massachusetts flags today.

"Let our object be, our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country. And, by the blessing of God, may that country itself become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of Wisdom, of Peace, and of Liberty, upon which the world may gaze with admiration for ever!"

-Webster, from his address on Laying The Cornerstone Of The Bunker Hill Monument (1825)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Battle Of Cowpens

Today marks the anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens in 1781, a victory for the Continental Army in South Carolina. To mark the day, we raise the Cowpens Flag, the United States flag which was flown during the battle, designed much like the Betsy Ross 13-star flag except for the one star in the middle of the circle. Independence Forever!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Words Of Daniel Webster

It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment,—Independence now and Independence forever.
-Daniel Webster, Discourse in Commemoration of Adams and Jefferson

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Davy Crockett

I leave this rule for others when I'm dead
Be always sure you're right - THEN GO AHEAD!
-Motto of Davy Crockett

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thomas Paine Quote Of The Day

Men who are sincere in defending their freedom, will always feel concern at every circumstance which seems to make against them; it is the natural and honest consequence of all affectionate attachments, and the want of it is a vice. But the dejection lasts only for a moment; they soon rise out of it with additional vigor; the glow of hope, courage and fortitude, will, in a little time, supply the place of every inferior passion, and kindle the whole heart into heroism.

-Thomas Paine, The American Crisis No. IV

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Stars And Stripes Increased

On this date in 1794, President George Washington signed a measure making the first changes to the American flag, by ordering the stars and stripes to be increased by two each, to symbolize the admissions of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. The 15-star, 15-stripe flag would remain the standard for the United States for 23 years, until the admission of five more states would bring the next changes to the flag, reverting the number of stripes to a permanent 13 but increasing the stars for each state admitted thereafter.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

John Hancock

Today is the birthdate of John Hancock, patriot and statesman, who was president of the Continental Congress at the time of the passage of the Declaration of Independence and the first to sign (boldly) the Declaration, and later governor of Massachusetts.

"There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!" -Hancock, following his signing of the Declaration of Independence

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Alexander Hamilton

Today is the traditional birthdate of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Constitution, authored many of the Federalist Papers in support of the Constitution's passage, was Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington, and whose portrait is currently on the U.S. $10 bill. He died in 1804 following a duel with Aaron Burr.

"The fabric of American Empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of National power ought to flow immediately from that pure original fountain of all legitimate authority." -Hamilton, Federalist No. 22

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Connecticut Statehood

On this date in 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the United States Constitution and join the new union. Today we raise the flags of Connecticut and the 13-star United States flag.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Battle Of New Orleans

Today marks the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, the final major battle of the War of 1812, fought in 1815 after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in Europe but before this fact was discovered by forces in this battle. The American victory over the British in this battle raised American morale in the final days of the war and also made Andrew Jackson a household name. In honor of the American victory, we raise the Star-Spangled Banner today, the flag of 15 stars and 15 stripes which was the standard during the War of 1812.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Israel Putnam

Today is the birthday of General Israel Putnam, one of the important figures of the early part of the Revolutionary War and one of the commanders of colonial forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Counties, towns and other places have been named for Putnam since his service. In honor of his birthday as well as the brave colonials he commanded, today we raise the Bunker Hill flag.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The 47th State Joins

Today in 1913, New Mexico joined the Union as the 47th state, leaving Arizona as the only territory remaining in the contiguous United States. New Mexico's star would join the flag as part of the 48-star flag, which would remain the standard of the United States for more than 45 years. We raise both the New Mexico and the 48-star flag in the state's honor today.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thomas Paine's Common Sense

"Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one..." -Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Utah Statehood

Today is the anniversary of the admission of Utah to the United States. The 45th state joined the Union on this date in 1896. The 45-star flag, raised on July 4th, 1896, would remain unchanged for the next 12 years.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Last Frontier

Alaska gained statehood on this date in 1959 as the 49th state in the Union. We salute the independent spirit of its people by raising the unique Alaska state flag and the 49-star standard, in use only one year before being replaced with our current, 50-star flag following the admission of Hawaii in August of 1959.

By law, changes to the United States flag are officially made on July 4th following admission of a new state. Because of that, the 49-star flag was in service from July 4th, 1959 to July 4th, 1960, when Hawaii's star was added.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Georgia Joins The Union

Today is the celebration of the statehood of Georgia, the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution in 1788. In their honor, we fly the Georgia state flag and the 13-star United States flag.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Betsy Ross

Today, the first day of the New Year, is also the birthday of Betsy Ross, the Revolutionary-era seamstress credited with creating the first 13-star flag of the United States, although the stories concerning her creation of the flag have been in dispute almost from the beginning. However, no matter the creator, the 13-star United States flag is a powerful symbol of rebellion, hope and the freedom of a new nation.