Every flag tells a story. Whether it’s a scrap of cloth tied to a stick or an elaborate banner, people have used flags to announce themselves, identify their lands, and display their beliefs. Award-winning author and illustrator Cheryl Harness brings to life a picture book history of flags focusing on the United States’ revolutionary beginnings, from liberty poles to the legendary “Star-Spangled Banner” that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814. Includes a glossary of flag terminology and an American flag timeline.
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Flags over America
By Cheryl Harness
ALBERT WHITMAN & CompanyCopyright © 2014 Cheryl Harness
All rights reserved.
A ship on the horizon! An army on the march!
People shade their eyes. They squint into the sun or the smoke of battle. They look for a far-off flash of color, a sign that will say: Is it a friend? Or an enemy on the way?
Since ancient times, people made designs that stood for themselves, their lands, their leaders, or their faiths.
They put them on their soldiers' shields or on the sails of their ships. They fastened their stitched and painted symbols, or standards, onto sticks and raised high their flags, their colors, to be seen from afar.
With their flags, people showed who they were-and, in time of war, what they were fighting for. When an army had lost too much, waving a white flag became the custom, meaning, "let's talk this over" or we surrender, "we give up."
Over hundreds of years, small ships flying the flags of their nations sailed far across the world's oceans. Kings and queens sent explorers to Asia, Africa, and to the Americas to gather valuable spices, slaves, gold, and furs and to spread their religious beliefs. By the 1500s, the flag of Spain flew over settlements in the Western Hemisphere. In the 1700s, France's flag fluttered over forts in North American forests and along the Mississippi River.
And where the Atlantic Ocean met the North American coast, the flag of Great Britain flew over thirteen colonies. But in 1763, trouble began between Britain's King George III and his distant American subjects.
Excerpted from Flags over America by Cheryl Harness. Copyright © 2014 Cheryl Harness. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
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