Sunday, June 13, 2010

National Flag Day ~ June 14th

National Flag Day ~ June 14th

Although many states had designated a special day to honor the US flag each year, it wasn't until 1949 that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Here at HFTS the US flag and other patriotic symbols of our country are front and center during the summer months. Affectionately known as Old Glory, the Stars & Stripes, or the Star Spangled Banner, the American flag is a Grand Old Flag.

Long an enthusiast of Americana, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the special exhibit, STRIPES and STARS, A GRAPHIC HISTORY OF AN AMERICAN ICON. The AIGA National Design Center hosted the STRIPES and STARS exhibit, at their 5th Avenue center in NYC the summer of 2000. The exhibit was an amazing collection of US flag related items assembled by Kit Hinrichs of California. The large poster lower right in the above mosaic is from the exhibit. I had it framed, and it is now part of my American collection.

The exhibit, a mere sampling of Mr. Hinrichs collection of flag memorabilia was so well received that Mr. Hinrichs decided to publish LONG MAY SHE WAVE. This large, beautiful book documents the complete collection of over 500 items with incredible color images meticulously photographed by renowned artist, Terry Heffernan. Mr. Hinrichs' collection has been "hailed as a marvel of folk history and a time capsule of cultural commentary." The exhibit catalog notes "Despite legal restrictions adopted by Congress in 1912 and 1934, the exhibition illustrates that popular interpretations of the flag motif have continued to proliferate, resulting in a rich visual history of a true American icon."

UNITED WE STAND, by Peter Gwillim Kreitier, is another wonderful book for those interested in the American flag. In response to Pearl Harbor, to celebrate Independence Day in 1942, every major US magazine featured an image of the American Flag on its cover. This book reproduces more than 100 of those magazine covers that saluted Old Glory across the nation July 1942.

Mary Emmerling's AMERICAN COUNTRY FLAGS is a charming little book of various flags in folk art. The page features beautiful full color images and quotes related to the American flag.

The US flag is often found on United States Postage Stamps. In 2002, perhaps in response to Kit Hinrichs' popular exhibit, the U. S. Post Office issued a set of five Americana stamps featuring flag ephemera. A small booklet that featured other flag folk art images and included twenty of the 37-cent stamps was available from the U. S. Post Office.

In 2000, I purchased this sheet of 33-cent U S postage stamps that commemorate The Stars And Stripes with various images of the U S flag through the years.

I had my sheet of flag stamps specially stamped for the occasion of OpSail 2000, the Parade of Tall Ships on the Hudson River and New York Harbor.

After 9/11 American patriotism was very popular. The American flag was seen being flown at almost every home in many neighborhoods. Flags flew on antenna of cars and trucks, and many wore a small American flag pin on their lapel. The top and bottom photos of the above collage are pins in my collection. The center card is an advertisement from Maximal Art's Vintage Americana Collection. You can find Maximal Art online at

These small individual vintage flags were once used on student desks in a classroom. The silk flags show 48 stars, the flag used between 1912 and 1959. The 48 star flag was the second longest in use.

Its red for love, and its white for law,
And its blue for the hope that our forefathers saw,
Of a larger liberty.

The ever entertaining Sue @ Collectin Texas Gal has an informative post on Flag Day in Texas. Stop by and give her a visit. And stop by to wish Sonia @ Miss Bloomers a Happy Birthday today. Sonia was born on Flag Day and is sharing some beautiful images of the American Flag that she photographed while on vacation in Santa Fe.

Flag Day is also my brother's birthday. Happy Birthday, David!

A special thank you to all the hostesses of the following weekly memes: