First designated in 1916, while the country was on the eve of World War I, Flag Day is June 14 and celebrates the good old Red, White, and Blue.
Less than a year after the country declared independence from King George III, the Continental Congress resolved the basics of the American flag on June 14, 1777, that it be of “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation,” and it was soon carried into battle at Brandywine just three months later. Recognized at sea on Continental Navy vessels the next year by foreign governments, there has been no turning back.
President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing the first national Flag Day in 1916 and, in 1949, President Harry S. Truman– who served in WWI– signed the Congressionally-approved national observance into law.
The 15-star/15-stripe flag was one of the country’s first, flown from 1795 through 1818. Americans fought under it in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812 where it was immortalized by poet Francis Scott Key during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, as The Star-Spangled Banner. There have been over 27 versions of the U.S. flag, with the current 50-star variant the standard since July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
A Volant Eagle on the side plate of a Springfield Armory-produced rifled musket that was later converted to a cartridge breechloader. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
Civil War reenactors with a popular variant of the 34-star U.S. flag. A 19th Century Massachusetts-born sea captain, William Driver, defiantly flew his old flag from his Nashville, Tennessee, house during the conflict, reportedly telling a mob that came to take it down, “If you want my flag you’ll have to take it over my dead body.” According to legend Driver was the first to term it, “Old Glory.” (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
U.S. military firearms of WWI, including the M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, Chauchat light machine gun, M1911 .45 Government Issue, and Colt and S&W-produced M1917 .45 ACP revolvers (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
U.S. military firearms of WWII, including the M3 Grease Gun and Thompson M1 submachine guns, the M1 Carbine, the “Liberator” single-shot .45ACP pistol, and M1911A1 .45 Government Issue, (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
Other U.S. WWII standards included the M1903A4 sniper rifle, M1 Garand rifle, and M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, all three in good old .30-06 Springfield. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
U.S. martial arms from 1795 through the M16 at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. (Photo: Ben Philippi)
A Mansfield, Ohio-made .45 by Hi-Point (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
So nice, you want to see both sides (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
(Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Nothing says, “America,” quite like an M1911, although it should be noted that this one is by way of Brazil (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
Speaking of Taurus (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
Notably, Taurus has opened a new production facility in Georgia and is making more guns in the U.S. these days. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
A 2nd Amendment-themed 1970 Vette designed by Danny “The Count” Koker of the TV show “Counting Cars,” and owned by Andy Ross, musician, and host of “Maximum Archery” on Sportsman Channel. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
A jeep sporting a very patriotic paint job driven by Mark Muller of Max Motors. (Photo: Ben Philippi)
A patriotic truck in Missouri. (Photo: Ben Philippi)
Bumper sticker at the Knob Creek machine gun shoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi)
A popular trope is that on U.S. military bases the flagpole’s finial– the golden ball at the top of the pole–contains a razor, a match, and a bullet, just in case the base falls, so that the banner doesn’t fall into enemy hands. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
A memorial to Vietnam Vets somewhere in the California desert (Photo: Ben Philippi)
As noted by our video editor, Scott Gara: “The American flag laid over my grandpa’s casket before he was laid to rest. He was a veteran of WWII and ran a merchant store of a cargo ship in the Pacific theater.” (Photo: Scott Gara/Guns.com)