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The American Flag and our 5th President

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The Flag in 1814 had 15 stars and 15 stripes

When you think of America you may think about Freedom, Democracy, Free Speech, Opportunity, Justice and all that makes this a great country.  The American flag is the one symbol that represents not only who we are but what we are as a county.

 


Last week Kathy and I took a road trip to Charlottesville and visited the home of our 5th president, James Monroe (1817-1825).  His home is known as Ash Lawn and is owned and maintained by The College of William and Mary, his alma mater.  In many respects it is a simple home but worth visiting.  One of the interesting facts I learned was President Monroe  had legislation enacted that makes our flag look the way it does today.

The flag that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore in 1814 (pictured above) has 15 stars and 15 stripes.  One star and one stripe for each state.  President Monroe recognized that if we kept adding stripes for each state the flag would create design and proportion problems so in 1818 he signed an act declaring that henceforth our flag would have 13 stripes and a star for each state of the Union.  Had he not signed this act by the time he left office in 1825 there were 24 states and one could only imagine the flag with 24 stripes.

When you see the American Flag today you have our 5th president to thank for the way it looks. Speaking of presidents, next Tuesday we, have the privilege of choosing our president for the next four years.  Remember to get out and vote.