On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed a simple resolution, reading, “Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and while; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” These simple words created a flag which has changed through the years to the fifty star, thirteen stripe flag we have today. Since my childhood, I have been a lover of flags and an amateur vexillologist.
My love or flags began years ago with my across the street neighbor, John Alvis. He was a lovable, crusty old Navy veteran, who had built himself a flag pole out of galvanized steel and put it up in his front year. The flag pole, like Mr. Alvis, was no nonsense steel pipe in concrete with a golden ball on the top and a simple external halyard. I was drawn to the flagpole like a moth to a flame. I loved going over to his house and raising, lowering, folding, and talking flags with him. He lived in his home until his death and his daughter live there now.
Mr. Alvis helped foster my love for flags in more ways than his flag pole, but more of that later.
Several years ago, I dropped a note off to his daughter asking that if she was ever going to take the flag pole down, if she might consider giving it to me. She responded favorably and years went by. In January of this year, I got a phone call asking if I was still interested in the flag pole and, of course, my answer was yes. My father and I went to her home with a giant pipe wrench, unscrewed the flag pole from its base and took it my home. After several months of work, I poured the foundation on Saturday, June 8th. On June 12th, my father and I placed the flag pole.
On this day when the flag of the United States is celebrated, there is a new constellation in front of my house. Im proudly flying three versions of the new constellation, the current fifty star, thirteen stripe version is hanging from Mr. Alvis’s flag pole, and the Star Spangled Banner of the national anthem (fifteen stars and fifteen stripes) as well as the original (thirteen stars and stripes) hanging from the porch!
Happy Flay Day!