‘It’s a Grand Old Flag’

A Flag Day contest features two prizes. All proceeds go to the repair and preservation of the WWI Statue at the Jacksonville Memorial Park. First prize is a painting shown here by Jacksonville artist, Judy Seamands of Wall Work by Judy. The second prize is a print of an original 1922 photograph taken in downtown Jacksonville during its Golden Jubilee. 

The Stars and Stripes was adopted as our national flag on June 14, 1777, by the Continental Congress. Since that point in our history, the flag has become “more than mere fabric”. Thanks to early flag makers it’s a symbol of our country, revered by many; sad to say maligned by some, but always present.

In 1820, Alexander Annin, at age 23, sewed flags for ships in New York City. Later his three sons would join the company and expand the business.

The Annin family understood they weren’t simply manufacturing flags they were, according to Ames Annin in 1926, “…playing a concrete part in the making of history…”

This company did indeed follow the path of American history. Their first big account opened the year when the U.S. Army asked them to supply flags for the Mexican-American War. Later during World War II, the company would produce 350,000 U.S. Flags per month.

The company’s most famous wartime time contribution was the first flag planted atop Mount Suribachi in Japan, where the Battle of Iwo Jimo took place. The Annin family did not make the large flowing flag shown in Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo. The Marines originally raised a small modest Annin flag; only later after enemy troops had left the area did the larger flag replace it. A lesser known photo of that first flag raised by the Marines resides in the Annin Company Archives. This image was captured by U.S. Marine Lou Lowery at 10:30 a.m. on February 23, 1945.

Other events such as presidential inaugurations increased sales for the Annin Company. Beginning with Zachary Taylor in 1849, every president since has been sworn into office with Annin made flags. In addition, early explorers planted their flags at the North Pole, South Pole and on top of Mt. Everest.

The company has remained strong by maximizing efficiency. An entire plant in Virginia makes only the embroidered star fields for the U. S. flags. They also created the POW-MIA flag to ensure our missing and imprisoned servicemen are not forgotten. And to ensure the design could be reproduced freely, it was never copyrighted.

Join us Friday June 14, as we honor our flag so as to never forget. We must remember those who fought to preserve our way of life and must ensure the Grand Old Flag Continues to Wave.

The 2nd Annual Flag Day Program and Picnic which will be held 11 to noon in Jacksonville. Everyone is invited to gather by the War Memorial at the Corner of Main and West Larissa Streets. Following the program and free picnic the Vanishing Texana Museum will be open.