Flag Day in the United States

Although we celebrate the birthday of the United States on July 4th we celebrate the Flag on June 14th. 

Flag day first originated when a schoolteacher named BJ Cigrand assigned the students in his Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School to observe the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes as what he called then 'Flag Birthday' on June 14th, 1885.

On the same day in 1889, a kindergarten teacher in New York City named George Balch planned some ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York.

On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution celebrated Flag Day.

In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.

Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Fun Fact

Our current 50-star flag was designed by a 17-year-old high school student as part of a school project. He was given a B- on the project because as his teacher told him "You don't even know how many states we have."    Read More

 

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