Thursday, April 29, 2010

A New Constellation

The flag of the United States had its birth, officially, on June 14, 1777, when the Second Continental Congress passed the Resolution stating: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

Many interpretations of the 1777 Resolution were created in one part of the colonies or the other, until things settled down; you know, the Revolution and all that.

Personally, my favorite has long been the so-called "Bennington Flag" because it has that nostalgic folk-arty thing going on. Or something. The story goes that Nathaniel Fillmore carried it away from the Battle of Bennington (Vermont), and it was passed down through the family, at one point in the possession of his descendant, Millard Fillmore, our 13th President (1850-53). It was later donated to the Bennington Museum.

Closer to the present, it was reported today, that the House of Representatives passed a resolution by a vote of 223 to 169, which could lead to Puerto Rico rejecting its commonwealth status, and possibly becoming the Nation's fifty-first state. Of course, the island would have a long way to go before this happens, and Puerto Ricans are somewhat divided on the issue. But never mind all that, because the question you all want to ask is: "Yo, Righteous Black Hat Dude! What will happen to our Flag?"

Well, for one thing, they'll have to add another star. How is this done, you have the unmitigated gall to ask?

Ah, my inquiring little minions, there is a government entity that is actually devoted to this nagging issue. The United States Army Institute of Heraldry provides heraldic services to the Armed Forces and other government organizations, including the Executive Office of the President. They actually have designs on the drawing board for arrangements of up to fifty-six stars. Our second illustration is their proposal for a 51-star flag -- a staggered star arrangement of three rows of nine stars, alternating with three rows of eight stars.

Not to be outdone, the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico has forwarded their own design proposal, which is our third illustration -- a circular design with the stars collectively forming a star-like pattern within a circle. I actually prefer this one, although I admit schoolchildren will find it much harder to draw.

There is another matter to consider. If Puerto Rico becomes one of the several States, it could no longer enter the Olympics as a distinct entity under its own flag, but under the banner of the United States.

I hear they have really good baseball players.


Amy Giglio said...

too bad baseball's not an olympic sport anymore...

David L Alexander said...

Oh. I knew it was coming, but thought it hadn't happened yet.

Amy Giglio said...

Yeah. The last summer Olympics was the last one. Bummer 'cause we love baseball in this house...