Unity Park is home to the tallest flagpole in Virginia, with its flag being seen by many drivers from Interstate 95 and 288 in Chester daily. On November 18th, 2018, Unity Park was opened to the public and declared a national landmark. The flag was raised as a symbol of thanks to our military and first responders, although Unity Park is open for all to come celebrate our great nation.
In the spirit of celebration and unification, what don’t we know about the flag we see every day?
The most recent iteration of the flag, with 50 stars and 13 stripes, was adopted after a 17 year-old high school student designed the new flag for a school project. Robert G. Heft’s design was chosen by President Dwight D. Eisenhower from over 1,000 entries. This means the flag has been changed a total of 27 times since its first official version in 1777!
The different colors bear different meanings. Red shows “hardiness and valor,” blue shows “vigilance, perseverance, and justice,” and white shows “purity and innocence.” And though you may think this is where the term “Old Glory” comes from, it’s not! Sea captain William Driver coined the term after being gifted a different U.S flag which he flew from the mast of his ship. Later, the name began to be associated with any American flag.
May 30th was established as Flag Day in 1916 by Woodrow Wilson, acting from the flag resolution. Later in 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress declaring June 14th as National Flag Day. To this day, Pennsylvania is the only state that celebrates Flag Day as a statewide holiday.
Though this national symbol is seen every day, there is still much to be learned about its presence. For more information, and to see the tallest flagpole in Virginia, visit Unity Park at 1800 Coxendale Road, Chester, Virginia 23836.