and here are some interesting facts. And a recipe for a patriotic cake.
The American flag is a symbol of freedom and liberty
to which Americans recite the pledge of allegiance.The flag’s 13 alternating red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies. The 50 white stars on a blue field represent the 50 states.
On June 14, When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, the colonists weren’t fighting united under a single flag. Instead, most regiments participating in the war for independence against the British fought under their own flags. In June of 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to create the Continental Army—a unified colonial fighting force—with the hopes of a more organized battle against its colonial oppressors. This led to the creation of what was, essentially, the first “American” flag, the Continental Colors.
For some, this flag, which was comprised of 13 red and white alternating stripes and a Union Jack in the corner, was too similar to that of the British. George Washington soon realized that flying a flag that was even remotely close to the British flag was not a great confidence-builder for the revolutionary effort, so he turned his efforts towards creating a new symbol of freedom for the soon-to-be fledgling nation.
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress took a break from writing the Articles of Confederation and passed a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation. “Over 100 years later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson marked the anniversary of that decree by officially establishing June 14 as Flag Day. “Old Glory, Stars and Stripes, the Star Spangled Banner” – From its inception, the American flag has been an important part of our nation’s history. Surviving over 200 years, the flag has both physically and symbolically grown and developed in times of both achievement and crisis.
The American flag is a symbol known worldwide. It has been the inspiration for holidays, songs, poems, books, artwork and so much more. The flag has been used to display our nationalism, as well as our rebellion, and everything else in between. The flag is so important that its history tells the story of America itself.
It represents the freedom, dignity, and true meaning of being an American. It has been with us through our war times, our sad times, but also in times of our greatest joys and triumphs. The flag went through many variations before becoming the flag we all know and love. In fact, it took from January 1, 1776 to August 21, 1960.
It has also been shrouded in legend and mystery for many years. Did Betsy Ross truly design the first flag? Do the colors really stand for something significant? The Grand Union or The Continental as it was called was the first flag under which continental soldiers fought. It uses the alternating red and white stripe pattern similar to the Sons of Liberty Flag only there are 13 stripes signifying the 13 colonies. However instead of stars on a blue field, we have the “Kings Colors” also known as the “Union Jack”. This flag had a very specific meaning. It meant that we were fighting as 13 united colonies but under British Rule. Remember, at this time we had not yet declared our Independence.
On July 4, 1776, congress declared its independence from Great Britain. From that moment on, we were fighting for our independence. Yet the continental congress still did not design a new American flag. That flag came about on June 14, 1777 when congress passed the first of three major flag acts. The first act stated that “the flag of the US shall consist of 13 alternating stripes of red on white with 13 white stars on a blue field forming a new constellation.
So, who designed the flag? In 1776 you couldn’t go into a store and buy a flag off the rack. Back then, flags were made in one of two ways. Since most Flags had a naval use, you could go to a ship’s chandlery – a store that outfitted ships – and the chandler would contract with a sail maker or in many cases an upholsterer to make the flag. An upholster in colonial times had more functions that what we typically think of today. Besides working on furniture, they also made flags and other military equipment. This is where the legend of Betsy Ross comes in to play. We know that Betsy Ross was an upholsterer who made flags for the Pennsylvania Navy. What we don’t know is did she really design the first flag? There is a great deal of controversy about this.
Regardless the legend lives on and the first flag of the Revolutionary Period is referred to as “The Betsy Ross” flag…the pattern of stars on the blue field is known by three names, The Betsy Ross Pattern, The Philadelphia Pattern, or The Single Wreath Pattern. The blue field on the flag also goes by three names – the field, the union, or the canton. Because congress did not set the specifics of where the field would be or how the star pattern should look like, or how many points the star would have, during this period, and up until 1912, the stars could be arranged in any manner that a flag maker would choose. When congress put together the notion of the flag, they blended the already established design of alternating stripes of red on white signifying the united colonies and a blue field with 13 stars. Finally, in 1912 President Taft established the pattern of stars that we know today. The 48 star, 49 star and 50 star flag all conform to this pattern.
Our flag is an inspiring symbol that unites us all as American citizens. The unique history of the American flag follows the history of our country and reminds us of the triumphant beginning of the United States. The 13 stripes: a symbol of the first 13 colonies. The stars: a symbol of our country’s 50 United States. As our country grew and developed, so did our flag. It has followed the fate of the country itself and, in the future, our flag may even change again. But today, our flag remains a vibrant symbol of the American principles of democracy, justice, and freedom, and of course the everlasting memory of those who have sacrificed their lives defending these intrinsic principles of the United States of America.
Over two hundred years ago, the Second Continental Congress officially made the Stars and Stripes the symbol of America, going so far as to declare that the 13 stars gracing the original flag represented “a new constellation” with the ideal that America embodied a bright new hope and light for mankind. Today, our flag continues to carry the inspirational and fundamental convictions of our great nation, and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Celebrate Flag Day!
Fly Our Flag Proudly!
God Bless America!
(This is information and facts I have gleaned from many and various articles on our American flag!)
MARYANN BERRY CAKE
The name MaryAnn comes from the name of the pan which has a deep indentation in the center of it. Otherwise, I would call it a “Claudia” cake as it is one of her favorites and I make it for her birthday!
2 CUPS FLOUR
2 TSPS VANILLA EXTRACT
2 TSP BAKING POWDER
1 CUP MILK
1 TSP SALT
3-4 CUPS BERRIES
16 TBS BUTTER (2 sticks) – unsalted, room temperature
1 CUP HEAVY CREAM – chilled
1 ¾ CUPS SUGAR – granulated
4 EGGS – large
2 TBS SUGAR – granulated
POWDERED SUGAR – for dusting, optional
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º
GREASE AND FLOUR A MARYANN PAN
Over a sheet of waxed paper sift together flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the flat beater, whip the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add 1 ½ cups sugar beating until smooth, creamy and well blended. Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and blend in. Reduce speed to low and add the flour and milk in 3 additions, alternating with milk but beginning and ending with flour. Beat just until all is bended and there are no lumps.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean – about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully turnout cake to a wire rack and cool completely – about 60 to 75 minutes.
Meanwhile in a nonreactive bowl combine your choice of berries, that have been picked over, rinsed, and let dry, and sprinkle over the ¼ cup of sugar, tossing with the sugar until well blended. Cover and refrigerate stirring occasionally until ready to use – at least 1 hour.
Whip cream with the 2 tbs of sugar until holding peaks and refrigerate. Just before serving, pour the berries into a mesh strainer over a bowl, reserving any juices that have accumulated. Brush a little bit of the juice over the well of the cake. Spoon whipped cream into the well, spreading it to the edges. Arrange the berries on top and add a few dollops of whipped cream and, if desired, dust with powdered sugar.
NOTE: for Claudia’s cake I just top with strawberries. However, if you top with strawberries and blueberries you have a very patriotic cake suitable for several of the holidays!