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Old Glory: In use since 1777, the American flag is everywhere


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The American flag is everywhere.

The flag can be found in numerous places.

The flag in front of Parkersburg High School.
(Photo by Art Smith)

It’s perched atop buildings, painted on walls, hanging from the sterns of boats, from the railings of porches and proudly waves over the graves of veterans.

Today marks Flag Day, a day commemorating the adoption of the flag on June 14, 1777, by Second Continental Congress.

“Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” – Flag Resolution

The flag has been revised many times as the nation grew.

The 50-star version was adopted on July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became a state, and is has been in use longer than any version of the flag. The previous version containing 49 stars was in use for one year and marked the statehood of Alaska.

The flag of the United States is known by several names: Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes, the Star-Spangled Banner.

Students learn to say the pledge of alliance in school and the flying of it inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner, which later became the national anthem, after he saw the flag flying over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.

“As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Patriotism is the freedom within you.’ People want to express it in different ways. They want to fly the flag to celebrate that freedom,”Sylvie Caporale, owner of American Flags and Poles in Marietta, said. “America is the greatest country in the world and the flag is the greatest. It says America is the best.

“In the U.S. we don’t have any laws about how the flag can be displayed, only guidelines” said Caporale. ” Our flag is treated with respect because of the honor that we give the flag in America.

“I think sometimes there is a dual purpose when people fly the flag. Patriotism and to pay tribute to people that have fought and served our country,” she said.

“The first thing I think of is the symbol of what it means. It’s a symbol of freedom, “ Caporale said.

In Parkersburg the flag can be seen flying in front of schools, from the top of Fort Borman Hill and Point Park at the edge of the Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers. Smaller flags can be found in front of and on top of many of the downtown buildings.

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