Watching baseball always feels extra special on the 4th of July. But as much fun as the holiday is (and hopefully you enjoyed yours), it’s always pertinent to know why July 4 is being celebrated.

Leave it to Dodgers announcer Vin Scully to share some history on the American flag and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” bringing it to life and significance for younger viewers who recognize the symbol but perhaps don’t know the full story behind it. Scully began each inning of Friday’s telecast for the Dodgers-Mets game (beginning in the second inning) with a note of interest.

For example, a new version of U.S. flag was created at one point with 15 stripes, not 13, when Vermont and Kentucky joined the union. But there was concern that new stripes would have to be added and the flag would have to be changed every time the United States grew. So the decision was made to keep the stripes at 13, the original number of colonies, while a star would be added with each new state.

Here’s a compilation of Scully’s 4th of July history lesson:

These kids are lucky! Where was Vin for the rest of us when we were sitting through our American history classes? Not only would we have learned about the United States from one of baseball’s finest voices, but our education would have been more well-rounded. During his history lessons, Scully dispelled commonly accepted lore regarding Betsy Ross designing the American flag and the circumstances that Francis Scott Key described in “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Seriously, if you watched Friday’s Mets-Dodgers game and paid close attention at the beginning of each inning, or watched the embedded clip above, it’s possible that you gained more knowledge about the American flag, its history and folklore than in 12 years of grade school, junior high and high school.

And kudos to the SportsNet LA telecast for adding some beautiful visuals of American flags waving in the air around Dodger Stadium, especially against the backdrop of a gorgeous sunset. Wonderful job by all involved.

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