. . . Not fucking 1774.
T-shirt companies tend to market the most obscenely jingoist shirts to the most ignorant members of the military. They used to say something on "U.S. Army Est. 1776" but now say something stupid like "1774."
1774, as we know, was the year people just began to think that rebellion against the English might be a good idea, after the Boston Tea Party, but before the English decided to the send in their regulars to violate what would have been known today as "civil rights," but what were known at the time as "ridiculous demands of precocious entitlement."
At that time, the Declaration of Independence hadn't even been written. In fact, the first battle of revolution, (Lexington and Concord) didn't happen until 1775. That battle was, as is often the case, merely the beginning of a long, hard war in which starvation gripped the native population to such an extent that the Empire wondered why the hell they were fighting at all. (Sound familiar?)
It could also be argued that the building of a country is an ongoing process that in America could have begun with immigrants in the 1600s and continued long after any arbitrary year designated by some arrogant, WASPy, jack-ass t-shirt designer.
Furthermore the resting on the laurels of a random establishment date means that people in power slack-off and spend more time thinking about little boys' buttocks while simultaneously plotting to subjugate emotionally healthy homosexual men and women who have the good sense to stay in their own age group, instead of making the United States a true country for the people and by the people.
Indeed, by that sort of staggering revisionist history crap, when ever a people just decide they are country, suddenly they are, and anyone who dares disagree has to face the nasty end of whatever the abundant fire-arm of choice happens to be.
If the above were true, there would have been an independent Kurdistan as early as 1992, and a Pakistan in the late 40's with much less riots. But Kurdistan is still part of Iraq and Pakistan had riots.
It doesn't work that way. Sovereignty is as hard-won as freedom and twice as hard to enforce since you only need convince people that they superficially have freedom, while you have to convince the world that you have sovereignty. That sort of convincing takes nearly constant up-keep well beyond merely stomping on the opposition, but also asking the people of your country to enforce the concept as part of their day-to-day routine, if not their full time, color-alert-dependent, gun-toting, badge-wielding/flag-waving job.