When it came time to come up with a flag design for our new nation, legend has it that Washington and fellow Congressmen went to Ross and asked her to take on the task. Fact for thought: It is proven that she had sewn many colors for Pennsylvania state’s ships, so it isn’t hard to believe that she would have been asked to design and sew a flag for a much more important need.\
The Flag and the Spanish-American War
While it is only legend, with many historians proving it cannot be true, it is still one that gives pride to every American, knowing the creation of our flag. We believe the legend because it is heartwarming to feel we know the story of how the roots of our country were planted.
Next is a famous battle that became a decisive fight in the Spanish-American War known as The Battle of San Juan Hill, or San Juan Heights. This running heights just east of Santiago, Cuba was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, but also the most famous victory of the Rough Riders. Their commander was none other than the future president, Theodore Roosevelt.
There is documentation of this valiant battle, a firsthand account from Richard Harding Davis who was a reporter and present on this no-name hill in 1898. Writing about the charge up the hill, led by Colonel Roosevelt and General Hawkins, he describes,
“These two officers were notably conspicuous in the charge, but no one can claim that any two men, or anyone man, was more brave or more daring, or showed greater courage in that slow, stubborn advance than did any of the others . . .” (Courtesy of http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/roughriders.htm)
Continuing his account, Davis writes about the charge up the hill, men fighting all along the way, and concluding with this detailed description of the flag being hoisted to signify the taking of San Juan Hill.
“They drove the yellow silk flags of the cavalry and the Stars and Stripes of their country into the soft earth of the trenches, and then sank down and looked back at the road they had climbed and swung their hats in the air.” (Courtesy of http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/roughriders.htm)
The exhausted joy these men must have felt, knowing they survived and won, yet not knowing the picture of them surrounding the raised American flag would live on well over a century later.
The Flag and World War II
During World War II in the Pacific arena, there was an incredible battle in which the U.S. Marines landed and captured the island of Iwo Jima. It could easily be argued that this image is the most powerful image in our entire history.
The Japanese were hunkered down in underground bunkers, with hidden artillery units and miles of tunnels connecting it all. For the Marines, it was like fighting a hornet’s nest. The Battle at Iwo Jima was one of the bloodiest of the war, where the casualties of Americans were higher in number than on Japan’s side. This is mostly due to the quantity of soldiers sent to Iwo Jima, in order to guarantee a win.
The Marines had naval support and the Air Force dominated the skies, raining bombs on the Japanese bunkers. On the 5th day of the battle, which only lasted a total of 36 days, a group of American soldiers made up of five Marines and one Navy combat corpsman, raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi. Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photo has become a symbol that is synonymous with World War II and the U.S Marine Corp.
The Flag and September 11th
A hauntingly similar photo, which elicits a strong emotional reaction ranging from anger, to sadness, to patriotism is the American flag-raising at Ground Zero, hoisted just hours after the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center Towers. Three fireman, standing about 20 feet off the ground on debris, raised the flag in a way that is so eerily reminiscent of the Iwo Jima photo.
The terrorist attacks inspired such fear and anger in the American people that it created a unity which was unparalleled in this generation. People from all around the world rose to the challenge of helping New York clean up and recover from this tragedy. The photo truly serves as a rallying point for a wave of patriotism that rippled not only through America, but the world.
With all of the emotions tied into the emblem of our nation, it seems almost blasphemy to think of purchasing one made in China or Taiwan. If you want an American flag to display in your yard, home, or anywhere else, for that matter, buy American. AmericanFlags.com, located on Long Island, New York, opened their doors shortly after the September 11 attacks. Check out our high quality products made by Americans, for Americans.