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Weird and wacky of July 4th Independence Day

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Weird and wacky of July 4th Independence Day

The American flag had 13 stars in 1776 so prior to the Declaration of Independence the first flag was the Grand Union Flag. After independence the American flag depicted 13 stars in a circle and this was known as the Betsy Ross flag. In 1958 a history teacher gave the students the task of redesigning the flag. A new flag was created by 16-year-old Robert Heft utilizing the outdated 48 star flag. He received a failing grade on the design and contested the grade he received for his design by mailing it to President Dwight d Eisenhower in Washington. Heft was one of hundreds who submitted a flag design, but he was the only one who actually assembled the flag and transported it to DC.  According to his obituary heft’s grade was changed to an A after his design was selected in 1960 his design became the official flag.

Yankee Doodle a popular American patriotic song was originally sung prior to the revolution by British military officers and mockery of the unorganized and buckskin wearing Yankees. The star-spangled banner was written by Francis Scott Key and was originally a poem stemming from his observations in 1814 concerning the British attack on Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. It was later put to music though not decreed the official national anthem until 1931.Although Francis Scott Key penned the words in 1814 during the War of 1812, the melody is actually much older. It’s based off an 18th-century British pub song called “To Anacreon in Heaven.”

Liberty Bell is widely considered a symbol of American independence, however. Unfortunately a crack appeared in 1835 and due to concerns about breaking the symbolic instrument the large Bell ( that weighs two thousand pounds) is tapped 13 times to signal for bells across the States to start ringing. Philadelphia  has a long-standing tradition that the tolling of the liberty bell on the 4th of july still goes on to this day. This tradition continues every 4th of July with descendants of the signers of the declaration of independence symbolically tapping the liberty bell 13 times and speaking of descendants of the signers of declaration of independence. Reese Witherspoon is a direct descendant of one of the signers of the declaration of independence. One of her ancestors by the name of john Witherspoon was  one of the 56 to sign the declaration of independence.

john Hancock who was the President of the Continental Congress was the first to sign the declaration of independence. So the saying put your john Hancock here actually comes from john Hancock’s large signature on the declaration of independence which left a sizable signature with flourish.


Happy 4th from Flippysox!