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英文阅读:美国国旗日

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发表于 2016-7-9 23:18:37 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  Flag Day (US)
          June 14
       
       

20040609_2877_flag_0.jpg

20040609_2877_flag_0.jpg

          National flags are not merely symbols of a country. Their colors and
designs convey past history and future goals. Flags have powerful
connotations(内涵). They speak to the people and politicians. People of one
country will burn the flag of another with whose politics they do not agree. To
show their anger, students display their own nation"s flags with the design
altered or cut out completely. Dictators fly flags; dissidents(持不同政见者) rip them
down. In every country of the world, the treatment of a flag displays an opinion
or statement.
          Americans take the treatment of their flag seriously and in the 20th
century this has become an important issue. Included in the code of ethics are
such rules as the national flag cannot be used for advertising. It cannot cover
a monument or any ceilings. It must not be folded while being displayed. No one
should write on an American flag. Ships can lower their flags slightly in
greeting each other, but otherwise should not be dipped for any other object or
person.
          In the late 1960s, American students wore small flags sewn to the back of
their jeans, symbolically insulting the American government and protesting its
involvement in the Vietnam War. They burned the American flag in front of the
Capitol Building(国会大厦)in Washington as a statement of protest. In the early
1990s, senators suggested an amendment to the Constitution(宪法)that would make
this treatment of the flag illegal. The proposition(提议、议案)was opposed because
many others felt that this change would be a violation of Americans"
constitutional rights to express their opinions freely.
          For all the controversy it is interesting to point out that the United
States did not even have a standardized flag until 1912! Called the "Stars and
Stripes," or "Old Glory," the flag is one of the most complicated in the world.
No other flag needs 64 pieces of fabric to make. The current flag has 13 red and
white alternating(交互的)stripes (representing the original 13 states) and 50 stars
(each star represents one of the states of the Union) on a blue background.
          The American flag has also changed designs more than any other flag in the
world. The first flag, called the Grand Union, was first flown at the
headquarters of the Continent Army on January 1, 1776. Betsy Ross, a
seamstress(女裁缝), is said to have contributed to this design. She had an
upholstery(室内装潢)business which made flags for navy ships in Pennsylvania. A
legend still persists that she showed George Washington how to make a
five-pointed star and suggested thirteen stars in a circle for the first flag.
Her descendants claimed that she offered the design. Actually, she and George
Washington never met! George Washington did design the Grand Union.
          On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress proposed that the United States
have a national flag instead of the British Union Jack. The 13 stars of the flag
represented the 13 new states. There were few public ceremonies honoring the
Stars and Stripes until 1877, when on, June 14, it was flown from every
government building in honor of the centennial(百年纪念)of the adoption of a
national flag. Schools had unfurled(展示)American flags over their doors or
outside the buildings long before this; but in 1890, North Dakota and New Jersey
made a law that required their schools to fly the flag daily. The first official
Flag Day was observed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1893. New York also
proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day 1897. Other states were slow to follow. Some
people thought that the day was too close to Memorial Day and Independence
Day.
          In August 1949, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day.
Since then the President proclaims the commemoration(纪念会)yearly, and encourages
all Americans in the country to display the Stars and Stripes outside their
homes and businesses. Individual states determine how they will observe the day.
In Pennsylvania and American Samoa it is a public holiday. Usually the flag is
flown from all public buildings, speeches are made in public places and
ceremonies take place in towns or cities
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