Today we take a moment to pay tribute to something that we might otherwise take for granted on a daily basis. On this day in 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag, thus the celebration of Flag Day.
According to reports, in 1776, George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the newly formed nation. At present, there have been twenty-seven official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers' preferences until 1912 when President Taft standardized the then-new flag's forty-eight stars into six rows of eight. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the 50th state.
The Commonwealth also happens to be home to one of the longest-running Flag Day parades. Since its inception in 1952, the Flag Day parade is held annually in Quincy, Massachusetts. This year the parade celebrates its 61st anniversary.