Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The American Flag at Highlands Falls

With July 4th just around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to educate everyone on what it takes to paint the American Flag on #17 and also give a brief history of the flag.
Painting the flag
For about 10 years now, the HFCC maintenance staff has been painting the American flag on #17 fairway.  17 was chosen as it provided a perfect position for the flag to be seen from the clubhouse.  The flag measures 100 feet across and takes over 1500 feet of twine to set up.  We use 10 gallons of red, 10 gallons of white, and 5 gallons of blue turf paint in addition to a case of white spray paint.  From start to finish, it takes approximately 4 hours to complete.
Painting the flag
Since we started painting the flag, it has become just as popular outside the club as it is inside.  It has been featured in several magazines and websites.  I have done speaking engagements on how we do it.  And last year several area Superintendents and vendors participated in painting it while also helping to raise money for The Wounded Warrior Program.
A view from the clubhouse
Local Superintendents and vendors

A Brief History of the American Flag

The current official U.S. flag is a 50 star flag, born of the need for a more practical design to accommodate new states entering the union. On April 4, 1818, Congress established the number of stripes at seven red and six white, and provided the addition of one star for each new state. The thirteen stripes represent the original 13 colonies. The 50 star flag has been in use since July 4, 1960 when Hawaii officially joined the union.
In the first years of the Revolutionary War, America fought under many flags. One of these flags, called the Grand Union, flew over George Washington's headquarters near Boston. It was the first American flag to be officially recognized by another country.
Grand Union Flag
On November 16, 1776, the American warship, Andrew Doria, saluted a Dutch fort in the West Indies and was saluted in return. This brought a measure of international recognition to the United Colonies.  A flag with thirteen stars and thirteen stripes received its first salute from another country on February 14, 1778, when French vessels in Quiberon Bay, France, saluted John Paul Jones and his ship, "The Ranger."
No one positively knows who designed the first Stars and Stripes, or who made the first flag. Soon after the flag was adopted by our new government, Congressman Francis Hopkinson claimed that he had designed it. Some historians believe that Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, made the first U.S. flag.
On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag of the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: "Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
13 Star American Flag
Today, that union consists of 50 stars representing all 50 states.