Until 1955, the U.S. Army
was the only armed service without an official flag. Various battalions and
corps often carried their own streamers and flags, but there was nothing to
represent the unity of the entire military branch. Understanding the need for a
banner to display alongside the other military flags at historic and ceremonial
occasions, Secretary of the Army, Wilber M. Brucker requested an official flag
Eisenhower first adopted the newly created flag in June of 1956. Soon after, it
was unveiled to the public on June 14, 1956 at Independence Hall. The date was
selected both because it was Flag Day and because of it’s historical
significance as the 181st anniversary of the birth of the U.S. Army.
Today, the U.S. Army flag stands with pride amongst its peers from the Army,
Navy, Air Force and Marines.
As with the other armed
forces flags, the U.S. Army flag is designed with a red, white and blue color
scheme. A white backdrop plays host to a number of historical symbols, each of
which honors the traditions and dedication of the U.S. fighting forces. The
centerpiece of the design is a blue representation of the official seal of the
Army and the War Office. The seal features a piece of Roman chest armor to
represent strength and defense, with a sword, pole-arm and a muzzle with
bayonet, all implements of battle, emerging from the neck opening. Atop the
sword rests a Phyrgian Cap. This cone-shaped hat has long represented the
pursuit of liberty and freedom from bondage because freed slaves in ancient
Rome wore similar styles. To the left rests a cannon barrel and balls, along
with a drum and sticks, which represent the Army’s role in public notification
and the need to protect the nation. To the right, a mortar and two bombs
Above it all, a
rattlesnake coils around a banner bearing the words, “This we will defend.” A
similar arrangement was seen in several of the flags representing the
Continental Colonies with the snake representing the Army’s ongoing readiness
to defend the nation.
Below the blue seal, a
red banner reads “United States Army” with the year 1775 beneath. The year
represents that in which the Continental Congress established the U.S Army
under the leadership of General George Washington
Displaying the US Army
flag is an excellent way to show support for the nation’s fighting forces.
Whether as a show of encouragement or remembrance for a loved one in the
military, as a show of patriotism, or as part of a ceremonial display, the U.S.
Army flag may be showcased on flag poles, in memorial flag cases or as a part
of indoor flag sets. Select a made in USA flag and display it year-round, or on