Tag: American flag

History Lessons

FDR said ‘flag’ ten times on 9/11

Front page of Indiana newspaper after FDR's address

Americans will soon mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks on the U.S. That night, backed by an American flag, President George W. Bush addressed the nation from the White House. Sixty years earlier, Americans listened to a similar speech from the White House, this time by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During his 9/11/1941… continue

History Lessons

Significant flags to think about on Flag Day

President Wilson on Flag Day. (Library of Congress)

The nation, one of its states and a branch of the military are marking special flag anniversaries this month. FLAG DAY One hundred years ago, as the U.S. grew nearer to entering World War I, President Woodrow Wilson officially established June 14 as Flag Day. “Many circumstances have recently conspired,” he wrote in 1916, “to… continue

History Lessons

Tennessee’s flags are filled with oddities

In 1938, a man poses on a horse with the Tennessee state flag as background. (Tennessee State Library and Archives)

As a state, Tennessee has an unusual flag. As a city, Nashville has a complicated flag. As a college, Austin Peay sports a gonfalon. When Tennessee entered the United States 220 years ago, it chose red, white and blue for its state flag. But the hues were arranged in a unique way. The red portion… continue

History Lessons

Memorial Day, Clara Barton and flags

Decoration Day parade in Texas in 1916, 100 years ago (Library of Congress)

Three major national holidays that unfurl flags are fast approaching: Memorial Day at the end of May, Flag Day on June 14 and the Fourth of July. The problem with such familiar occasions is that we often forget their original meaning and focus instead on picnics and fireworks. Shortly after the Civil War, Memorial Day… continue

History Lessons

Poet inspired by American flag

An officer rallies his flag-following troops

Walt Whitman, one of America’s finest poets, spent much of the Civil War in Washington, D.C., working in hospitals and caring for wounded servicemen. In April 1864, he sent a letter to his mother to share how the American flag affected soldiers and himself. “You don’t know,” he wrote, “what a feeling a man gets… continue