Monday, July 04, 2005

Today's Lesson:
Oh, Say, Did You Know...?

Star-Spangled Banner, 1907 Photo

The Star-Spangled Banner was made by Mary Pickersgill for Fort McHenry. It originally measured 30 x 42 feet, about one-quarter the size of a basketball court, but a large portion of the flag is now missing. Each star is about two feet across.

This flag design became the official United States flag on May 1, 1795. With the addition of two stars for Vermont (admitted as the 14th state on March 4, 1791) and Kentucky (admitted as the 15th state on June 1, 1792), this flag was to last for 23 years. The five Presidents who served under this flag were George Washington (1789-1797), John Adams (1797-1801), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), James Madison (1809-1817) and James Monroe (1817-1825).

The 15-star, 15-stripe flag was authorized by the Flag Act of January 13, 1794, adding two stripes and two stars. The regulation went into effect on May 1, 1795. This flag was the only American flag to have more than 13 stripes. It was immortalized by Francis Scott Key during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Sept 13, 1814. LINK

The flag is a symbol.

Symbols reflect ideas.

An idea only becomes reality when its singular meaning is shared by so many people that it can't be ignored.

When people want that reality so much that they're willing to die for it.

As Bush calls for more to sign up, military recruitment lags

Army behind quota for the year

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's unusual call for people to enlist in the military, made at the end of his speech on the lengthening Iraq war, came amid growing signs that the conflict is taking a severe toll on enlistments, with the Army running behind its quotas for the year despite lowering its standards for applicants.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday that the president ''wants to make sure we're doing all we can to meet our recruitment targets." But retired military leaders quickly warned that a protracted fight in Iraq, with no clear timetable for withdrawal, will make it even more difficult to recruit ground forces, especially as the job market provides more alternatives. LINK

Some ideas, especially those crafted by a handful of profiteers behind closed doors, aren't worth dying for.

No matter how much you wave the flag...

Or try to hide behind it.


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