Dec. 31, 2011; El Paso, TX, USA; The american flag flies over Sun Bowl Stadium during the first half during the 2011 Sun Bowl between the Utah Utes and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Utes beat the Yellow Jackets 30-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July to all the Raider Nation!  Today is the day that we celebrate our Nations independence, and we remember the endeavors that many of our ancestors had to go through to live in a free world.  This day, also known as Independence Day, has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941.  However, the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-1783).

In June of 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies, then fighting in the revolutionary struggle, weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain.  On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.  From 1776 until present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American Independence.  Typical festivities range from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

On this day, Americans remember the heroes who died to keep this nation free.  We celebrate the thousands of men and women serving in the United States Military, our Police, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services (Ambulance), and the nurses and doctors who take care of us in our time of need.

This is a day to remember how the American Flag came to be; On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution which placed American forces under George Washington’s control.  On that New Year’s Day, the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston, Massachusetts, which had been taken over by the British Army.  Washington ordered the Grand Union Flag to be hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill.  The flag had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).

In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.  On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”  Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.

Thank you to all the men and women who gave everything they had to shape this great nation.  Thank you to all the men and women who continue to shape this country now.  For those people are the reason why we have American Football.  They are the reason why we, the fans, are able to go to a football game or watch it on a television set.  So, Raider Nation and football fans everywhere, hoist up the Red, White, and Blue, and sing the Star Spangled Banner or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  This is our Nation, and we are very proud of where we came from.

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Tags: American Flag American History American Revolution Betsy Ross Congress Continental Army EMS Fire Department George Washington Independence Day Police Raider Nation United States Military

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