THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR (1775-1783)
During the American Revolution, 4,435 Americans lost their lives as Great Britain’s 13 colonies rose up in insurrection, and won their independence and formed a new nation called the United States of America on July 4, 1776.
THE CIVIL WAR (1861-1865)
Fueled by the debate over slavery and states’ rights, this war pitted the North against the South, neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother. 140,414 soldiers lost their lives in the costliest war ever fought on American soil.
WORLD WAR 1 (1914-1918)
Centered in Europe, and started by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, we remained neutral until 1917, when Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare threatened our commercial shipping. The Central powers faced off against the Allied powers in a devastating conflict, in which 116,516 Americans lost their lives.
WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)
Instability created in Europe by World War I set the stage for another international conflict, involving all the major countries in the world. It started with Adolph Hitler trying to take over the world by invading Poland. 292,131 Americans gave their lives protecting our freedom.
KOREAN CONFLICT (1950-1953)
After World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel, into North Korea, which was controlled by the Communists, and South Korea, which was led by the United States. North Korea, along with China, invaded South Korea in 1950. This continued until 1953, when a truce was finally agreed upon, costing us 33,651 more lives.
VIETNAM WAR (1965-1974)
The Vietnamese waged war with France in 1956, where Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam gained their independence. Viet Nam was divided between the communist led North and the anti-communist led South. Conflicts continued for almost 8 years until the United States became involved. The war escalated, and became the longest war in American history 47,369 Americans died protecting our freedom.
Through all these conflicts and wars the American flag has continued to stand for freedom, and be a prominent icon in our national history today. The flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes (seven red stripes alternating with six white stripes.) The stripes represent the original colonies, and the stars represent the fifty states in our union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well. Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.