BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement in celebration of Flag Day on Sunday, June 14:
“In the summer of 1777, as Americans battled for their independence in the Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress met to draft the Articles of Confederation, the first framework for an independent American government. On the battlefield, colonial troops fought under a patchwork of unit or regimental flags, yet the delegates were committed to uniting the thirteen colonies into one nation. To this end, the Congress passed a resolution known as The Flag Act June 14th, 1777, and the flag has flown proudly as a symbol of our nation’s unity ever since.
“For Marylanders, the flag also symbolizes the rich history of our state, and its role in the creation of our national identity. During the War of 1812, the Stars and Stripes was hung over the battlements of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Thirty feet tall and 42 feet wide, this was the flag that inspired Maryland native Francis Scott Key to write the words to what would become our national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’
“In 1949, an Act of Congress designated the anniversary of The Flag Act’s passing as National Flag Day, an annual commemoration of our flag, our nation, and our history. In this era, the number of stars on the American flag has grown, while the definition of “citizen” has expanded and the voices of our democracy have multiplied. The flag’s message of unity is as vital as ever, a reminder that we are one people, together dedicated to the principles of liberty, equality, and justice.
“Flag Day also is an opportunity to honor the unwavering courage of our members of the armed forces. In the centuries since the flag’s creation, millions of Americans have fought under its banner, in order to defend the values that it represents. It is their work that allows us to continue to fly the broad stripes and bright stars of the American flag today. This Flag Day, as our banner waves across the nation, let us remember and acknowledge the continual service and sacrifices that have kept the United States “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”