Editor note: The following article has been provided to AMAC Foundation and our readers as a general public service by freelance writer, Lorelei Teninty.

During the month of June, we look to honor the flag of the United States of America and also celebrate Father’s Day.  In the spirit of both, here is a brief history of Ol’ Glory and dedication to all Dads – the heroes and mentors our children deserve.

-Joleen Teninty, AMAC Foundation, Executive Director


The honor of our colors history begins in (no surprise) 1776, six months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July and seven before it’s official engrossment in August. Originally titled the “Continental Colours,” the American flag looked similar to that of the modern Australian flag, with the Union Jack propped in the top left corner and our own emblem, the red and white stripes, covering the other three quarters. It was raised in today’s Somerville, Massachusetts, in honor of General George Washington. This version of the flag, however, was and still is unofficial.

The first official flag was made by none other than the wonderful Betsy Ross. 

Betsy certainly said “out with the U and in with the new” when she was given the honor of creating the first official American colors. Almost a year after our Great British break-up letter, the Continental Congress requested a design with “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.” The first major public appearance of this flag was on September 11, 1777 at the Battle of Brandywine. After this, from 1795 until 1818, a star and stripe was added to the flag each time a new state joined the Union. 

The US Flag

The current design of fifty stars and thirteen stripes was only finalized in 1959 by Eisenhower in Executive Order 10834. It was officially raised in Fort McHenry on July 4th, 1960. Amongst all the different design plans throughout our countries history, two things stayed the same. First is the meaning of the colors

  • Red- Hardiness and Valor 
  • White- Purity and Innocence 
  • Blue- Vigilance, Perserverance, and Justice 

Second and most important of all the consistencies through our history is the value of all the men’s lives lost for these colors. This value can be described in one word: priceless. 

Let’s also honor the fathers this month, those who serve our country and those who serve the children of America every day.  They deserve recognition for their hard work in establishing, maintaining, and growing this great country of ours. 

The following poem is a young man’s experience during high school and the loss of his NJROTC instructor. May all men stand tall to be the best mentors in the lives of young men today.  

Close, but no cigar.

A Poem by Lorelei Teninty

It was too late to see him when I found out.
So, after his wake I sat in the cloud.
The Marlboro smell that he’d have out back.
“Semper Fidelis, may God bless my path.”

I fought with myself; he was all that I had.
My father figure, never quite like my dad.
He was strict but never judged out of sorts.
We were never the prisoners to his court.

Sweet tea and macaroni were what kept him alive,
But in those moments of fear, Marlboro came to strive.
Now I stand in the world, next to my own rucksack.
“In Omnia Paratus, may God bless my path.”

Article author, Lorelei Teninty, is an aspiring writer and entrepreneur. She enjoys reading, writing, swim, and spending time with her 5 dogs!

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