The Bullitt County History Museum

Bullitt Memories: Flag Day

The following article by David Strange was originally published on 14 Jun 2015. It is archived here for your reading enjoyment.


Today, June 14, is Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of our U.S. flag by the 2nd Continental Congress in 1777. President Woodrow Wilson established the day of recognition by proclamation in 1916, but it wasn't until August 1949 that National Flag Day was officially established by an act of Congress. The flag is now celebrated throughout the country on this day, though it is not a national holiday.




Flags were originally more of a visual icon for troops to rally around in fields of battle, as well as to avoid friendly fire incidents. Today, flags are more often symbolic. Nevertheless, the symbolism represented by flags and their design remains an important, unifying force. Nations have flags; states have them; many counties and cities do, as well as even neighborhoods, clubs, and schools.

The Kentucky state flag was adopted March 26, 1918. I like this flag, with its Pioneer and Statesman shaking hands. This symbol, also seen as recognition of the importance of unity between rural and city, can give us all a lesson even today. The flag's "United we stand, Divided we fall" should be taken to heart nationally as well as locally. Goldenrod, the state flower, is also on the flag. The poor goldenrod is often assumed to be the culprit of allergy problems in the state, but that is a false assumption. Ragweed, which looks similar and flowers at the same time, is the real offender.

Bullitt County's flag represents the early history of Bullitt County. This flag was adopted as the official flag of Bullitt County on September 18, 1967. The design was first displayed on December 13 of that year at a ceremony at Roby Elementary School, marking the 171st anniversary of the county. The white background represents salt, which was an important factor in Bullitt County history. The first commercial salt works west of the Allegheny Mountains was erected at Bullitt's Lick. Salt, though often maligned today, is a requirement for life. Bullitt County's salt works made pioneer settlement in the region infinitely more possible. The green color in the flag represents the beautiful land, which was and is lush and bountiful. The circle of 20 stars represents Bullitt County's rank as the 20th county created in the state (Similar to the 19 stars in Indiana's flag, marking it as the 19th state in the Union). Today there are 120 Kentucky counties. The golden "1796" represents the year Bullitt County was created by the Kentucky Legislature, December 13, 1796. The crossed muskets represent the pioneer days of the county in which battles were fought to gain and hold the land, and to survive in the wilderness.

I'm not too keen on having so much white in a flag, white being generally a sign of surrender. Indeed, one Confederate flag in the American Civil War used a lot of white, but was eliminated because it was being mistaken in battles as a flag of truce. But then again, white is also a sign of purity and peace.

Purity of purpose is one reason stated for the white in the U.S. flag. The predominately white Christian flag, with its cross on a field of white, represents both surrender (to God) and purity of Christ, as well as peace.

I encourage you to learn about the flags of our nation and community. Such study is both unifying and enlightening. You can learn more about Flag Day on the web at www.NationalFlagDay.com. You can also learn more about flag etiquette on the VFW page here.

By the way, the U.S. Army's birthday is also celebrated on June 14, so Happy Birthday to all the Army vets out there! Thanks to you, our flag still flies high.


Copyright 2015 by David Strange, Shepherdsville KY. All rights are reserved. No part of the content of this page may be included in any format in any place without the written permission of the copyright holder.


The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 12 Sep 2017 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/memories/flags.html