It was on this day in 1777 that Congress formally adopted the stars and stripes of the American flag as the National Standard. With the exception of the adding of a star for each new state and the geometric arrangement of those stars, the flag as we know it is the same as the original one Betsy Ross sewed for George Washington--based on the design of his own ancient family heraldry. Thus, this day is celebrated as Flag Day by the displaying and honoring of the flag.
The fourth stanza of Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner aptly captures our hopes and prayers for this day:
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our Trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.