Celebrating Flag Day | Imperial Club

Celebrating Flag Day

On June 14, 1777, the adoption of the ‘stars and stripes’ became the official flag for the United States. For centuries now, people have celebrated ‘Flag Day,’ on June 14, but what does that mean and why do we celebrate it? First, let’s take a look back into history of the flag and its significance for the United States.
According to history, in June 1776, George Washington commissioned a Philadelphian seamstress, Betsy Ross, to create an official flag for the new nation in anticipation of declaring its independence. The following year, John Adams spoke about the design of the flag at a Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia. He said the flag of the United States shall be “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be 13 stars, white on a blue field.” Stars have been added as states have entered the Union and the most current version was July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state.
The first origination of Flag Day is said to have happened in 1885 when a schoolteacher in Wisconsin deemed June 14 as “Flag Birthday.” For years after, this teacher continued to enthusiastically advocate this “Flag Birthday” in multiple news articles and public addresses. He started a trend, because for the next century, teachers and their classrooms, board members and various societies across the country began to celebrate Flag Day. In one striking public address by Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, given in 1914 to commemorate Flag Day, he beautifully depicts the symbolism the flag holds for the United States:
“I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”
Fast forward to the twentieth century, when President Woodrow Wilson, in May 1916, issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities across the nation, it wasn’t until August 1949 that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating this day of each year as National Flag Day.
Since it’s been deemed a national observance (and to some an official holiday), many Americans celebrate Flag Day by displaying their version of Red, White and Blue in front of their homes and businesses. Other ways to celebrate and pay respect to this symbol of our nation’s independence are by doing things such as saying the pledge of allegiance, singing the national anthem or ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ before a baseball game, or a simple pledge to the flag, “Old Glory,” as a symbol of the United States’ democracy and independence. Saluting an American flag is also another easy way to celebrate and honor the great United States of America. Join the rest of the nation on June 14, 2015, as they honor and pay respect to Old Glory for staying true to the red, white and blue.

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