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What Do the Stars, Stripes, and Colors of the American Flag Mean?

 The Flag of the United States is blowing in the breeze

Sometimes it is called, “ Old Glory,”

Or the “Stars and Stripes”

The colors are Red, White, and Blue

And each color means something

Red means courage – Are we brave?

White means purity - Are we pure and good?

Blue means justice – Do we play fair? 

Why stars and stripes?

Stars are considered a symbol of the heavens and the

Divined goal to which man has aspired from the beginning of time.

The Stripes are symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun. 

The Stars represent the 50 states.

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About The Merchant Marine Flag

Maritime Administrator Albert J. Herberger unveiled the Merchant Marine flag to honor America's civilian seafarers who have supported the Nations armed services in times of peace and war. On May 24, 1994 this flag was introduced and is comprised of an eagle perched atop a red, white and blue shield with an anchor in the middle. At the top of the flag, the words "In Peace and War" are stitched, as well as "1775" at the bottom to commemorate early contributions of the U.S. Merchant Marine to the Nation's history


History of the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps

Until 1874, young Americans who wanted careers at sea as officers had to work their way "up the hawsepipe," learning practical seamanship and navigation as best they could. That year, Congress authorized the Navy to lend ships to leading U.S. ports "for the instruction of youths in navigation, seamanship." New York Nautical School was the first to take advantage of the Act, and the only school which survived, eventually becoming State University of New York (SUNY).

In 1891 the Pennsylvania Nautical School started operation, followed two years later by the Massachusetts Nautical School, but both limited enrollment to state residents. Other state-funded Maritime schools for the training of officers, were established in California (1929), Maine (1941), and Texas.

In response to a need for officers to man the Emergency Fleet during WW I, the United States Shipping Board set up a crash training program in 1917. The 6 week long program, limited to men who had at least 2 years sea time, was called Free Training Schools for Merchant Marine Officers. There were 6,300 graduates as WW I ended, and 11,000 by the end of the program in 1921.

Another training program was based on the 1891 Postal Aid Law and 1928 Jones-White Act which mandated that ships accepting U.S. Government mail subsidies should take cadets for training --"one American-born boy under 21" for each 1,000 tons gross weight -- to be "educated in the duties of seamanship."