Happy National Flag Day

June 14th is National Flag Day in the US and although it is not as largely celebrated as some of the larger American holidays, it is day that Americans celebrate their country’s beginnings. Flag Day is a holiday that celebrates the creation of the American flag and what it stands for. The design for the American flag that we know today was agreed upon by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. The resolution for the flag read: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”  Now, while the birth of the United States has been officially recognized by Congress since 1870, Flag Day was not officially recognized by Congress until 1949.

There are many different stories as to how Flag Day came to be. One of the most popular claims about the origins of Flag Day is that it was started by school teachers across the US in 1877, a hundred years after the design for the flag was adopted. Teachers were conducting patriotic ceremonies in the classroom as a means to teach their students about American history. One of the teachers, Bernard J. Cigrand, lobbied Congress for years in order to have the celebration of the flag become a recognized holiday. Cigrand was dubbed the “Father of Flag Day”. Other patriotic groups also fought for the flag to have its own day of celebration but to no avail. Both President Woodrow Wilson, in 1916, and President Coolidge, in 1927, declared that June 14th was to be National Flag Day; however, Flag Day was not made official until 1949 by an Act of Congress.

 

Sources: https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate/flagday.pdf

http://www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth/history/old-glory/

http://www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth/history/history-independence-day/