Seasons Of The Flag

After years of ups and downs, Old Glory has just made its greatest comeback.

Half a year ago, Amherst, Massachusetts, held a meeting to discuss hanging American flags along the town’s main routes. The head of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter had spent $1,000 on 29 flags, hoping to fly them for months at a time, instead of just on national holidays, as was the town’s original plan. A physics professor from the University of Massachusetts rose to object.Read more »

The Stars And Stripes Forever

Unlike many other flags, which evolved long after the character of their nations was established, the American flag was born with the Revolution, and few if any national emblems have inspired the veneration we accord it. We salute the flag, pledge allegiance to it, fly it from our humblest homes and from our tallest buildings. We lavish it with affectionate epithets—Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes, the Grand Old Flag, the Red, White, and Blue—and we even set aside a national holiday in its honor.Read more »

Stars And Bars And … Flags That Never Flew

It was easy enough for an excited and passionate South to pass secession resolutions in 1861—yet harder than it thought to get away from the Old Flag. When a committee to decide on a new banner met that February in Montgomery, Alabama, it was deluged with ideas, of which (in the larger pictures) we show six examples, together with extracts from the not always coherent arguments proposed by their designers. None of these suggestions made it, of course, and the fanciful ensigns disappeared into limbo until recently unearthed by Michael P.Read more »

To The Flag

Invented as part of a magazine promotional scheme in 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance has had a controversial career right from the start

It has been said that true patriotism never flags; Dr. Samuel Johnson went further, declaring that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Certainly, in the panorama of American history, many a rogue can be detected peering from behind the American flag, and today a red, white, and blue decal is no guarantee of anything. Read more »