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Our Flag, A Great American Icon PLUS… 3 American Flag Desserts for the Fourth!

With an explosion of red, white and blue we welcome our Nation’s 247th birthday this 4th of July. America has been celebrating for a very long time and one of our greatest symbols, Old Glory, is flying everywhere now. We know you want to get into the spirit of the holiday but before DIY’ing that American flag as a cute dress this 4th read more about this symbol and whether it’s cool to use it as a miniskirt…

Photo by Alexander Grey on

As a symbol of our independence and patriotism, the American flag’s stars and stripes are iconic!  Its design is simple, 13 stripes for each of the 13 colonies and 50 stars (not 52, that many people mistakenly believe!) for each of our states.

Our first flag consisted of the familiar red and white stripes but included a Union Jack in the corner before changing to the “Betsy Ross Flag” with a circle of stars replacing the Union Jack.  In 1818 congress passed an act that would have a star added to the flag each time a state was added to the Union. 26 changes later we have our 50 star flag!

Although many believe that Betsy Ross had designed and sewn our first flag, historical research has proven otherwise. And yes, the flag was sewn by Ross, but the honor of original designer goes to Francis Hopkinson.

Oil painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris: Betsy Ross 1777Betsy Ross showing Major Ross and Robert Morris how she cut the stars for the American flag; George Washington sits in a chair on the left.  
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As a delegate from New Jersey, Hopkinson was one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence as well as the original designer of our flag. The most compelling evidence proving this fact were his letters to Congress requesting compensation. Hopkinson sent two letters asking first to be paid with a quarter cask of wine and later with cash. Both requests were denied. (Apparently, designing the American flag wasn’t nearly as valuable as a good cask of vino!). The design has since been modified 26 times since 1777 to it’s current depiction.

Today’s current 50 state flag design was created in 1958 by 17-year-old Robert Heft who had hand sewn a cut up American flag belonging to his grandparents for a school project. Heft got a B- for the project which left him frustrated. After a discussion with his teacher a promise was made to change the grade if the design was accepted by the United States Congress. A determined Heft enlisted the help of a neighboring congressman and after 21 letters and 18 phone calls (all made by Heft) his design was chosen to represent our nation. Two years later on July 4, 1960, with an invitation from President Eisenhower, Heft watched his 50 star flag raised over Fort McHenry.  He had finally earned his A!

Do you know your American flag etiquette?  In December of 1942, Congress passed the U.S. Flag code. This detailed document outlines how one should behave in the presence of the flag. The code outlines how the flag is to be displayed, when and where to display – including weather conditions! – the lighting used and how and when it should be used for mourning. There is even a doctrine for how a worn out, old flag should be retired.

So, is it cool to wear that American flag as clothing?  The Flag Code is only a guideline and there certainly aren’t any “flag police” enforcing the U.S. Flag Code. However, it does suggest against wearing the flag as clothing.  Instead, just wear some red, white and blue and wave your flag instead of wearing it.

Just because you can’t wear the flag doesn’t mean you can’t eat it! If you’re prepping for America’s birthday this Tuesday then check these 3 American flag dessert ideas for a sweet and patriotic addition to your Fourth of July BBQ…


omg, YUM! This yummy pizza pie crust is made of a sugar cookie and it’s “sauce” is a super simple no bake cheesecake mousse and then the whole thing is decorated with some healthy fruit. Check out how to make it at PHOTO:


You can make this fun flag dessert with or without the Jell-o mold and is simple and fun to make with delicious layers of red, white and blue Jell-o, whipped cream and blueberries. See ingredients and how to make it. PHOTO:


This idea could not be more easy or festive! Check out for recipe, tips and instructions on how to put this together. PHOTO:

Now that you are all caught up on our American Flag and its etiquette the only thing left to do is go wish America Happy Birthday… Thanks for visiting and we’ll see you in the next blog!

Deb Fries works with the Julianna Rae team to offer the best shopping experience for quality silk and cotton sleepwear while also writing for the blog at