My fellow Americans,
Every Fourth of July, we celebrate the day America declared its independence. But this month, let us also remember the day our country won its independence. Next Thursday, October 19, marks the 236th anniversary of the day that George Washington’s Continental Army defeated the British at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.
When our young American flag waved that day over the British surrender, it marked more than a victory of American arms. It represented the emergence of Stars and Stripes as a beacon of freedom around the world.
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress resolved that our flag shall consist of 13 alternating red and white stripes, and a blue field of 13 white stars representing the American colonies.
Congress ultimately decided that a star would be added to our flag’s “constellation” on the Fourth of July upon the admission of each new State to the union, but that the flag would always keep its 13 stripes as a tribute to the original colonies that declared and won their Independence together.
In 1942, Congress passed the United States Flag Code, creating official standards for how we treat our beloved flag. From this code, we teach each new American generation to always show our flag the respect it deserves.
America’s men and women in uniform have carried our flag into battle and given their lives to protect it. Our Star Spangled Banner flew above Fort McHenry in the “Dawn’s Early Light.” Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders carried it to victory at the Battle of San Juan Hill. And our heroic Marines raised it over Iwo Jima.
Every day millions of American citizens raise it, salute it, and honor it on the home front. American workers hang Old Glory above factory floors where they proudly stamp their products “Made in the USA” and more and more products are being so stamped because our economy is starting to boom. We are doing really well. Companies are moving back into the United States and far fewer will be moving out. Believe me. And it’s already happened. American schoolchildren put their hands on their hearts as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Before watching a football game, you want to see those players be proud of their country. Respect our country. Respect our flag. And respect our national anthem and we think they will. We certainly hope they will.
We honor the flag, we pay tribute to the men and women who have given everything for its defense. We renew the bonds of love and loyalty we owe to our fellow citizens—to every American who looks to the Stars and Stripes and sees woven into its fabric their past, their future, and their place in our great American family.
So this month, as we remember the patriots who fought to win our glorious Independence, let us renew our commitment to love our country, protect our citizens, and ensure that this will ALWAYS BE the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.