Why We Honor the Stars and Stripes
Did you know that there is a connection between today’s Flag Day holiday and Western Pennsylvania? When he was only a teenager in the late 1800s, William Kerr of Collier Township was tapped to speak at a convention about the Stars and Stripes, the official U.S. flag approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.
Kerr, who lived in Rennerdale until 1928, spent much of his life campaigning for a national day of recognition for our official flag. He founded the American Flag Day Association in Western Pennsylvania in 1888 and promoted his idea until August 3, 1949, when President Harry S. Truman designated June 14 as the national Flag Day holiday. Kerr was in his 80s, but sat next to Truman when he signed the Flag Day bill.
If you are flying the United States flag at your house, here are some rules and points of etiquette courtesy of the U.S. Flag Code:
- Fly the flag only in good weather, unless it is designated as an “all-weather” flag.
- Don’t let the flag touch the ground.
- Don’t store the flag where it can get dirty.
- Use red, white and blue bunting for decoration, not a flag.
- If displayed with other flags, the U.S. Flag should be above the others.
- When a flag becomes too tattered or worn for display, it should not be thrown away, but burned in a dignified manner.
Salute the flag today with special pride that Flag Day observances have roots in our own backyard.