“There is no better symbol of our country’s values and traditions than the Flag of the United States of America.

Chosen by the Continental Congress in 1777, it continues to exemplify the profound commitment to freedom, equality and opportunity made by our founders more that two centuries ago.

Our flag’s proud stars and stripes have long inspired our people, and its beautiful red, white and blue design is known around the world as a beacon of liberty and justice.

Today, America’s Flag graces classrooms, statehouses, courtrooms and churches, serving as a daily reminder of this Nation’s past accomplishments and ongoing dedication to safeguarding individual rights.

The brave members of our Armed Forces carry “Old Glory” with them as they fulfill their mission to defend the blessings of democracy and peace across the globe;

Our banner flies from public buildings as a sign of our national community;

And its folds drape the tombs of our distinguished dead.

The Flag is a badge of honor to all – a sign of our citizen’s common purpose.

This week and throughout the year let us do all we can to teach younger generations the significance of our Flag.

Its 13 red and white stripes represent not only the original colonies, but also the courage and purity of our Nation, while its 50 stars stand for the separate but united States of our Union.

Let us pledge allegiance to this Flag to declare our patriotism and raise its colors high to express our pride and respect for the American way of life.”

(from a Proclamation by President Bill Clinton – 1986)