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The evolution of the American Flag

By Staff | Jun 20, 2014

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3388 and its Auxiliary gave a Flag Day presentation at the Good Samaritan Society on Monday, two days after the official holiday which was June 14. Sally Steil (at podium) read the history of the country’s flags from the Colonial Flag to the current 50-star flag. Photo by David Swartz

United States residents love their flag enough that they celebrate a special day to commemorate it.

Locally, the Veterans of Foreign Wars 3388 and its auxiliary did their part on Monday with their annual presentation of the evolution of the American flag at the Good Samaritan Society in Estherville. While two days after the National Flag Day (June 14), the program was no less significant.

Sally Steil read the evolution of the American flags as various members of the VFW and VFW Auxiliary displayed 10 of those flags.

Those flags are:

n The Colonial Flag symbolic of the colonists’ struggles in the new land, the colonial flag could include anything from beavers to anchors.

n The Bedford Flag Showing an arm with a dagger it also included the Latin phrase “Vince Aut Morire” (Conquer or Die). It was displayed with a cavalry unit from eastern Massachusetts and the first flag of the American Revolution.

n Bunker Hill Flag shows a pine tree in a corner of white with a red field.

n Washington Cruisers Flag a pine tree on a field of white was adopted by the U.S. Navy and in use for many years.

n Grand Union Flag The flag had 13 stripes to represent the colonies and was first flown by a ship in the colonial fleet

n Gardston’s Flag This flag displayed the slogan “Don’t Tread on Me with a rattlesnake on a yellow field. Similar flags were flown on land and sea.

n Star Spangled Banner This flag had 15 stars and 15 stripes after the addition of Vermont and Kentucky to the 13 colonies. Congress later passed a law to keep the flag at 13 stripes and add a star for each state that became part of the Union.

n Bennington Flag was the first flag with stars and stripes and was also chosen for the country’s bicentennial in 1976.

n First Amy Flag created in 177, this flag was based on the fact that no colony should take precedence over any other. It is the flag most connected with Betsy Ross.

n 48-star flag This flag was the flag of the U.S. for 47 years until 1950.

n 50-star flag This flag is used today.

Following the evolution of flags program, VFW members Bob Fine, Gilbert Amdahl, Steve Erickson and Virgil Bonner presented the proper way to fold the flag with Fine reciting the meanings of each of the folds of the flag.

VFW Auxiliary members concluded the presentation by leading Good Sam residents in the singing of several patriotic tunes including, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “My Country Tis of Thee,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “America the Beautiful.”