Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 14: Flag Day

On this day in 1777, the first United States flag was decided by America's Continental Congress, the precursor of today's Congress.  In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14 "Flag Day."

If you don't have a flag to display or flag pin to wear, you can celebrate in song.  Ball State's online audio resource, Naxos Music Library (Ball State login required) has several albums of patriotic music. 

50 Patriotic Songs, including The Star Spangled Banner (the National Anthem), You're a Grand Old Flag, Holding the Flag for America, Riders for the Flag, and a musical setting of The Pledge of Allegiance.

The United States Marine Band, a.k.a. "The President's Own," plays regularly for presidential functions.  It is one of the most prestigious musical organizations in the country, with top professional musicians selected through very competitive auditions.  Hear them on Naxos performing The Stars and Stripes Forever, by John Philip Sousa (who conducted the Marine Band for many years) and The Red, White and Blue, and True to the Flag.

If you can't remember the words to the Star-Spangled Banner, here is a scan from one of the Music Library's 19th Century song books.  At the end you'll see the original words to the melody -- which was a drinking song!

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