On June 14th, 1777, our country’s flag was officially adopted by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Many years later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that established June 14th as Flag Day, and on August 3, 1949, this day of observance was officially established by an Act of Congress.
Now, every year on June 14th, our country has a special opportunity to celebrate our flag and reflect upon what it symbolizes. The American flag displays thirteen horizontal stripes alternating red and white with a blue rectangle, specifically referred to as the “union,” that bears fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine horizontal rows. As you may know, the fifty stars on the American flag represent our fifty states. The thirteen stripes represent the thirteen original colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain and became the first states in the U.S.
While the design of the American flag has been officially modified 26 times since its initial adoption in 1777, the symbolic meaning has remained the same. Whether flown on front lawns across Alabama, in front of schools, universities, and businesses of all sizes, or proudly displayed at military installations across this great country, for centuries the American flag has been an inspiring emblem of pride, hope, and freedom for countless people throughout the world.
Whenever I see our flag, I am especially reminded of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have fought to defend it and all it represents. This year, Flag Day comes during an especially important time, as I recently was proud to announce my 2019 appointees to our United States service academies.
Each year, it is my distinct privilege and honor as a member of Congress to nominate students from the Second District to be considered for appointment to the United States Air Force, Naval, Military, and Merchant Marine Academies. This year, I am very pleased to announce that I nominated the following students who received official appointments to the service academies:
Daniel Brayden Banner is the son of Dan and Amanda Banner. He is a graduate of Providence Christian School in Dothan, and he received an offer of appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Theodore Maxwell Dowd is the son of John and Donna Dowd. He is a graduate of Northview High School in Dothan, and he received an offer of appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Amore Jacarra Hardy is the daughter of Regina Hardy. She is a graduate of Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, and she received an offer of appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.
Timothy Jurard McClendon is the son of Emma Lee McClendon. He is a graduate of Carroll High School in Ozark, and he received an offer of appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.
Johnny M. Montgomery, III, is the son of Johnny Montgomery. He is a graduate of Stanhope Elmore High School in Millbrook, and he received an offer of appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.
Jackson Scott Parker is the son of Scott and Hannah Parker. He is a graduate of Abbeville High School, and he received an offer of appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Isaac Taylor Sherman is the son of Jeremy and Morgan Sherman. He is a graduate of Prattville High School, and he received an offer of appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.
Seth Cameron White is the son of Steve and Terri White. He is a graduate of Wicksburg High School, and he received an offer of appointment to the United States Naval Academy.
In the spirit of Flag Day, I believe these students from our communities are to be commended not only for their academic excellence, but more importantly, for their eagerness to serve our great country. I am incredibly proud to join their families, friends, teachers, and hometowns in offering my sincerest congratulations and thanks. Our flag will continue to shine as a symbol of freedom because of young leaders like these men and women.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.