Thursday, June 20, 2024

Nicknames of the American Flag

Throughout the years, the American flag has garnered numerous nicknames, each reflecting deep reverence and pride. Every nickname reflects a different aspect of the American spirit. As we approach the interlude between Flag Day and the Fourth of July, there's no better time to explore these endearing monikers and what they signify.

1. Stars and Stripes: Unity and Divine Guidance

I defy you to say "Stars and Stripes" without seeing an image of the American flag. The stars symbolize the states of the union, while the stripes pay homage to the original thirteen colonies. This imagery extends further: the stars evoke the heavens, and the stripes whisper of sacrifice. We recall Jesus, whose stripes brought healing, as well as those brave souls who laid their lives down for freedom.

2. Old Glory: Legacy of Faith and Sacrifice

24-Star US Flag

Captain William Driver received a gift from friends in 1831, marking his appointment as captain of the brig Charles Doggett. Upon unfurling a large 24-star American flag, Driver exclaimed, "Old Glory!" His affectionate term for the flag stuck. Throughout his seafaring career, Driver proudly displayed "Old Glory" on his ships. During the Civil War, he went to great lengths to protect the flag, even sewing it into a quilt to conceal it from Confederate forces. His unwavering commitment during the tumultuous times in which he lived provides a poignant reminder of courage, perseverance, and devotion to God and country that "Old Glory" represents.

3. The Star-Spangled Banner: Inspiration and Divine Providence

Digital reproduction of the Star Spangled Banner Flag, the 15-star and 15-stripe U.S. garrison flag which flew over Fort McHenry following the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Seeing the flag during the battle, and again the following morning, inspired Francis Scott Key's song The Star-Spangled Banner, now the U.S. national anthem.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" serving as both a nickname for the flag and the title of America’s national anthem, evokes the image of the flag itself. Inspired by Francis Scott Key's lyrics during the War of 1812, this nickname encapsulates the faith and resilience that define the nation’s history. It symbolizes divine providence and reflects our hope that God continues to bless our land with peace and prosperity.

4. The Red, White, and Blue: Sacrifice, Purity, and Justice

American Flag, image courtesy of Jnn13, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

"The Red, White, and Blue" represents the colors of the flag, each imbued with profound meaning. Red symbolizes the sacrifice for freedom, echoing Christ's ultimate sacrifice on the cross. White signifies purity and innocence, virtues we strive to embody daily. Blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice, reflecting God's righteous character and our commitment to His will in all aspects of life.

5. The American Standard: Emblem of Unity and Freedom

Flag of the United States, as described by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams in a letter dated 3 October 1778. One version was flown by the French frigate Hermione when she arrived in New York the 1st July 2015. The nation went on to adopt a different version. Today's flag is still called the American Standard Flag.

"The American Standard" underscores the flag's role as the official symbol of the United States, embodying our nation's ideals, history, and unity. It emphasizes the importance of upholding the values that shape our communities and country.

Final Thoughts

Whatever we call the flag, may we us honor it with reverence and gratitude  while acknowledging the sacrifices of those who came before us. Let us uphold the principles of freedom, justice, and righteousness as we call upon God to, once more, bless America.

About Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt fell in love with literature at an early age when her father read chapters from classics as bedtime stories. When Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with tales "written" in her head. Today Janalyn is a storyteller who writes in several genres. Romance, mystery, adventure, history, and whimsy appear in all her novels in proportions dictated by their genre. 

Learn more about Janalyn Voigt and the books she writes.

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  1. Thank you for posting today. I loved your homage to our beautiful flag!

  2. You're welcome, Connie. May God bless our nation still today.