Have you ever noticed how many flags have red, white and blue as their colors? Other than our own Stars and Stripes I bet you can think of a couple off the top of your head; France, United Kingdom I’m sure come to mind. In fact there are 31 countries with red, white and blue as their national colors and 11 US state flags.
Ours obviously stemmed from the country of its first European settlers but what’s interesting is, the tri-colored flag concept is a mystery to its inception. It’s origins are traced back to the Netherlands where they instituted the first tri-colored flag in 1572 but the meaning or reasoning behind three colors is a unknown. At the time their flag was orange, white and blue but orange changed to red sometime before 1630. By then the tri-colored, red, white and blue flag had been adopted by many countries.
The colors themselves have different, although similar, meanings in differing countries. Blue usually means courage, bravery, valor, hope, strength, or faith among others. White normally means innocence, religion, purity, honesty and Red commonly symbolizes blood, for the blood that was spilled in war.
Personally, I love the red, white and blue of our flag. Perhaps if our flag was purple, green and yellow the thought of a red, white and blue flag would seem preposterous. I’m glad it isn’t. There is something classic and strikingly bold about the contrast of these primary colors.
With American Independence Day approaching I have been feeling rather patriotic and thought, eh, let’s make something identifyable all American. With the unusually high temperatures lately, a cold beverage was perfect. Everyone in our home is a fan of sparkling water. We don’t care for soda. I planned on a simple red, white and blueish drink and ended up with a science experiment for WizKid to fetter out.
I put blueberries and strawberries in a jar with agave nectar. When I added the sparkling water I gave the jar a good shake to incorporate the agave. Oddly, this caused the strawberries to float near the top of the jar, and the blueberries to sink to the bottom. This resulted in a drink literally striped with red at the top, clear (white) in the middle and blue at the bottom. It wasn’t a complete separation which was another oddity, and mussing it about did cause strawberries to sink over time, but enough to clearly identify three layers. You can see the result pretty clearly in the rear jar in the photo above.
They turned out delicious, refreshing and very patriotic, especially (and ironically) for those in the Netherlands. WizKid downed his in about 3 minutes and asked if there were more.
Oh and in case you’re curious, the oldest flag flying belongs to the Denmark. Their flag has been flying, unchanged, since the 13th century and is fondly referred to as the Dannebrog.
Now let’s test your flag knowledge.
US Flag Quiz
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- 64 oz Sparkling Water
- 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) Agave nectar or simple syrup
- 1½ cup strawberries, sliced
- 1½ cup blueberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Add 2 tablespoons agave or simple syrup into a sealable container or 6 jars jars.
- Add ¼ each blueberries and strawberries.
- Pour in sparkling water and stir well.
- Let sit 8 hours minimum or overnight.
- Add sugar and water to small saucepan. Heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool and store in fridge for needed sweetener anytime.