Red, White and Blue! | Two Chums

Red White and Blue Two Chums
FILE – Fireworks burst on the National Mall above the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building during Independence Day celebrations in Washington, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

This is the week! Let’s celebrate! The Fourth of July is a big day for fireworks, cookouts and parades. Need some help with that BBQ banter? Here are some Independence Day-themed facts to share.

1. There have been 27 different versions of the official U.S. flag from 1777 to 1960

Out of these 27 changes, 25 of them were made only to the stars on the flag.  Since 1818, the number of stars on the flag, by law, must always reflect the number of states in the United States, with new stars added to the flag on July 4 in the year following their admission. The last was Hawaii’s star after it was admitted in 1959.

2. There are numerous celebrations of U.S. Independence Day abroad

Celebrations of the United States’ Independence Day happen in Denmark, Norway, Ireland and Sydney, Australia. In Denmark, the Rebild Festival rings in the festivities with a picnic and music, regularly drawing crowds of tens of thousands.

3. The Fourth of July is a big day for consumer spending

This year, Americans are expected to spend around $9.5 billion on food alone, and in 2022 revelers $2.3 billion on fireworks.  Spending on the holiday used to be a faux pas; before the Civil War, it was considered unpatriotic for businesses to remain open on July Fourth.

4. Feelings of pride and patriotism in the U.S. are at a low

According to a 2022 Gallup poll, only 38% of Americans consider themselves extremely proud to be American. Still, according to the National Retail Federation, some 87% of Americans are planning to celebrate Independence Day this year. So, come on chums, get out there and celebrate!

5. Fireworks displays can significantly worsen air quality

As parts of the U.S. battle air quality issues caused by smoke from Canadian wildfires, there’s concern about how some large fireworks displays can contribute to worsened air quality. Some regions are experimenting with drones for their firework displays.

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7. The U.S. is not the only country celebrating freedom on July 4

It is also Liberation Day in Rwanda, and it’s Republic Day in the Philippines. At least in the U.S., expect celebrants to consume somewhere in the realm of 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day this year.

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8. It has never been easier to celebrate from the comfort of your home

Livestreams of this year’s Independence Day celebrations will be happening across the nation. This year’s A Capitol Fourth will stream festivities from Washington, D.C. The event will feature live performances from, among others, Chicago, Babyface and Belinda Carlisle — and will include what organizers call the “greatest display of fireworks in the nation,” captured by 20 different camera views. 

9. There is an argument that Independence Day should be celebrated on July 2

The Continental Congress voted on independence on July 2, 1776, but it didn’t approve the Declaration of Independence document until July 4, 1776. Ask Founding Father John Adams: he argued the official holiday should be July 2.

So, there we have it. Enjoy a wonderful week of celebrations!

Jackie and Robin

PS HAPPY CANADA DAY TO OUR WONDERFUL RED AND WHITE NEIGHBORS NORTH OF US

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