Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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December 28th
The Meaning of the Flag
On December 28, 1945, Congress made the Pledge of Allegiance the official national pledge to the U.S. flag. Noted clergyman Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87) reminded us what our flag means:

If one asks the meaning of our flag, I say it means just what Concord and Lexington meant, what Bunker Hill meant. It means the whole glorious Revolutionary War. It means all that the Declaration of Independence meant. It means all that the Constitution of our people, organizing for justice, for liberty, and for happiness, meant.

Under this banner rode Washington and his armies. . . . It waved on the highlands at West Point. . . . This banner streamed in light over the soldiers’ heads at Valley Forge. . . . It crossed the waters rolling with ice at Trenton. . . .

Our flag carries American ideas, American history, and American feelings. Beginning with the colonies, and coming down to our time, in its sacred heraldry, in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea: Divine right of liberty in man. Every color means liberty. Every thread means liberty. Every form of star and beam or stripe of light means liberty. Not lawlessness, not license, but organized, institutional liberty – liberty through law, and laws for liberty.

This American flag was the safeguard of liberty. Not an atom of crown was allowed to go into its insignia. Not a symbol of authority in the ruler was permitted to go into it. It was an ordinance of liberty by the people, for the people. That it meant, that it means, and, by the blessing of God, that it shall mean to the end of time.
American History Parade
1832
John C. Calhoun becomes the first vice president to resign, leaving office over political differences with President Andrew Jackson.

1846
Iowa becomes the twenty-ninth state.

1856
Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth president, is born in Staunton, Virginia.

1945
Congress formally recognizes the Pledge of Allegiance as the national pledge.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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