This week, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Flag Day, we take a look at several intriguing flag-related stories. Here’s the lineup:
- Why Do We Pledge Allegiance? Here’s the little-known story behind this revered American ritual and the fears that inspired it. Did you know the Pledge was written by a socialist? Or that it’s wording has been changed twice? Or that the original salute was dropped during World War II because it too closely resembled the fascist salute of Nazi Germany?
- Next, I interview Kimberly Staub, the Manager of Collections and Exhibitions at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. She’ll tell us how Betsy Ross was “discovered” as the woman who made the first American flag in the 1890s – more than a century after the flag was created. And she’ll explain to us how the museum has changed it’s focus over the past decade to tell a larger story of colonial women in the late-18th century.
- Finally, I drop some fun and interesting flag-related facts on you. Do the flag’s colors red, white, and blue officially symbolize anything like courage or sacrifice? Listen and learn, people.
Episode 013 notes and credits
Jeff Gammage, “Flag Day loses importance but lives on in Philadelphia,” Philadelphia Enquirer, June 14, 2008.
Jeffrey Owen Jones, “Meet the Man Who Wrote the Pledge of Allegiance,” Smithsonian Magazine (November 2003)
Marc Leepson, “Five myths about the American flag,” Washington Post, June 12, 2011
Kelli Marshall, “The Strange History Behind The Pledge Of Allegiance,” Talking Points Memo (September 15, 2015)
Marla R. Miller, Betsy Ross and the Making of America
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “How Betsy Ross Became Famous: Oral Tradition, Nationalism, and the Invention of History,” Common-Place (October 2007).
Music for This Episode:
Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (courtesy, JayGMusic.com)
Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive)
Jason Shaw, “Acoustic Meditation” (Free Music Archive)
The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive)
The Bell, “On The Street” (Free Music Archive)