Despite all of its pageantry, fashion and flair the key figure or symbol of our Presidential Inauguration is still the American flag. Although politicians of every party and ideology attended the transition of power from one president to the next, the icon present at every American inauguration- connecting our past, present and future- is Old Glory, the American flag. Flags are the physical representation of their nation. For Americans, our flag is a recognizable yet noble symbol threading together numerous moments in our lives—we see American flags at our schools, churches, offices and homes.  

 2017 Presidential Inauguration

Photo via: The Washington Times

 

The framers of our Constitution clearly understood that in order for our government to endure, it needed the ability to improve itself, “to evolve in form and function, and to be guided by new ideas and new personalities.” To accommodate that need, they provided constitutional amendments calling for the regular election of officials and the routine transfer of power. Although contemporary Inaugural ceremonies differ a bit from those held during the days of our founding fathers, the use and placement of American flags still inspires the peaceful transition of power from one president to the next.

 

The Inauguration and the American flag reflect the traditions and customs that signify the forward movement of our nation. The Inaugural ceremony itself remains a unique symbol of our constitutional system. The Inaugural Address, parade and Inaugural Ball are special occasions which encourage the participation and inclusion of every American. Even the Inaugural platform, the stand where the president, vice president and their families are seated for the swearing-in ceremony, has a special “First Nail Ceremony”. Senators and members of the House of Representatives who serve on the Joint Congressional Committee, the bipartisan group of leaders who plan the details of the Inauguration, drill and hammer the first nails of the platform where the newly elected president will take the official oath swearing to serve our nation and uphold the U.S. Constitution. Our Inauguration is one of the most peaceful and respected transitions of power in the world.     

 

The theme of the 58th Presidential Inauguration is “Uniquely American”. This theme recognizes the symbolic importance of the inaugural ceremony as a true expression of American culture. Parade participants include marching bands, veterans groups and other organizations from every state and territory in the Union. “The peaceful transition between presidential administrations signals that we are united as one people behind an enduring republic.” Inaugurations take place every time a president is elected (or re-elected) and sworn-in. President Franklin Roosevelt celebrated three Presidential Inaugurations. Our country has held 58 Inaugurations for 45 Presidents.

 

Five flags adorn the West Front of the Capital during the Inaugural ceremonies. The flag of the United States is displayed in the center. On each side of the U.S. flag is an historic American flag with thirteen stars.These two flags represent the thirteen colonies and the flag was designed by Francis Hopkins, a member of the Continental Congress. The fourth and fifth flag of the display are “the Betsy Ross flag”, which appeared in the early 1790’s and reflects America’s history. “Betsy Ross Flags” bookend each side of the display.

 

At this year’s Inaugural Luncheon,  which immediately followed the Inaugural Address and Speech, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee, presented President Trump with one of the American flags which flew over the Capital during his swearing-in ceremony. Similarly, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California presented Vice President Pence with an American flag that flew over the Capital as he took the Oath to serve our country.

 

As President Trump takes office and the ceremonies of the 58th Inauguration close, it is important to remember that the American flag symbolizes democracy and justice along with the commitment of our leaders to uphold the ideals and precepts set forth in the Constitution. We are still one nation, united together. Carrot-Top celebrates the uniqueness of our nation and congratulates America on yet another peaceful and successful transfer of power. Proudly wave your American flag high in the knowledge that the United States of America will continue to move forward, endure and prosper.