Monday, June 18, 2012

The Declaration of Independence

Vintage postcard of signing the Declaration
Words heard round the world.
If you've never read the entire Declaration of Independence, you really should. It doesn't take long. It's a short statement of purpose and then a list, a mighty list, of how King George abused his power.

That's it. That's our national mission statement. The Founding Fathers argue – using ethics and reason – that people have a right to be governed fairly and that when governments abuse that right, it is inevitable and reasonable for the people to demand new and accountable government.

What constitutes abuse of power? It was not just taxation without representation.

It is about disbanding local courts, about installing soldiers in people's homes during a time of peace.

It is about kidnapping sailors and forcing them to join the King's navy.

There are two pages of itemized abuse. It's a good read and you can check it out here.

Restoring the Declaration
Keeping it alive is our responsibility. Keeping it in physical condition belongs to the National Archives. Check out this video about restoring the Declaration of Independence.
A copy of the Declaration with small flag.
A hand-written copy 
by Mr. Jefferson
Here is a link to an early hand-written draft of the Declaration, written in Jefferson's own hand. It is part of the collection at Princeton University. It includes a link to a typed, 7 page version of the document which is easier to read and still includes all the notes from the original.
You don't have to read it. You can listen!
To hear the annual reading aloud of this document by the NPR staff of Morning Edition. Don't want to read it aloud yourself? think it might be kinda dull? Fair enough. But check this out. It might change your mind about those words heard round the world.
Your own copy of  
The Declaration of Independence is a click away.

For ideas about how to decorate with bunting or how to make a flag bouquet, read Decorating for July 4: Here Come the Cockades!

Bunting and more bunting!
To find find out how to raise and lower the flag correctly, see USFlagstore's  Flag Etiquette 101 and USFlagstore's How to Fly the Flag at Half-Staff.

Let It Fly!

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