Today’s journey took me to New York City by the means of the New-York Spectator, February 22, 1817. Under the heading of “Congress”, I found the “Votes for President & Vice President” report: “The votes of all of the states having been aloud, with the exception of those of the state of Indiana… One motion of Mr. Jackson, a message was sent to the Senate, informing them that the House of Representatives were ready to proceed, agreeably to the mutual resolution of yesterday, to open and count the votes for President and Vice President of the United States…The reading of the votes was then concluded and the tellers handed a statement thereof to the Present of the Senate… The president of the Senate then declared JAMES MONROE, of Virginia, to be duly elected President of the United States , and DANIEL D. TOMPKINS, of New York, duly elected Vice-President…”. A fair question to ask would certainly be: “Why were Indiana’s votes not included in the oral record?” An appropriate follow-up might be: “Were they eventually included?” If you know the answers off the top of your head, please respond. It sure is a good thing the election wasn’t close enough for Indiana’s votes to make a difference in the final result. However, the decision as to whether or not to include the votes was still an important one in regards to establishing precedent.
Today I traveled Boston, Massachusetts via the Boston Commercial Gazette, January 16, 1817. There I found that a change was being made that would be an on-going occurrence every fourth of July… sometimes. It was the new flag design! The Star Spangled Banner — “The stripes are to be reduced permanently to their original number of thirteen; but the stars are to be constantly increased in number, equal to the number of the States in the Union. The first change to take place on the 4th of July next, and the change of every additional star after that to take place on the succeeding 4th of July…”. Let the flag continue to fly, free and proud!
Today, June 14th, is Flag Day, which is based on the Continental Congress’ adoption of the 1st version of the American flag on June 14, 1777:
“Resolved, That the Flag of the Thirteen United States, be Thirteen Stripes, alternate Red and White; That the Union be Thirteen Stars, White in a Blue Field, representing a new Constellation.” signed in by the Secretary: Charles Thomson (as reported in the May 29, 1783 issue of The Connecticut Journal).
A major revision of the flag began on July 4, 1817:
“The flag of the United States is to be altered. — The Stripes are to be reduced permanently to their original number of thirteen; but the stars are to be constantly increased in number, equal to the number of the States in the Union. The first change to take place on the 4th of July next, and the change of every additional star after that to take place on the succeeding 4th of July and not before.” (as reported in the January 16, 1817 issue of the Boston Commercial Gazette).
Of course other more minor alterations have occurred as states have been added, but regardless of its exact form, today we are reminded to Fly ’em high and fly ’em proud!