Last year, two vendors at the Flag Day parade in Dedham, Mass., engaged in a fight over Spider Man balloons, according to the Dedham Transcript. For the celebration of a day when two nations were fighting over red and blue banners, this could not be any more ironic. Let’s take a closer look at some facts about Flag Day, and see what more newsworthy events took place on a June 14.
* We celebrate Flag Day to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States of America, which took place June 14, 1777, as a resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
* The first official celebration of Flag Day was June 14, 1937, when Pennsylvania celebrated it as a state holiday.
* Flag Day wasn’t officially recognized until Aug. 3, 1949, when President Harry S. Truman signed it into law.
* The first unofficial observance was in 1885 at Stony Hill School in Waubeka, Wis.
* Bernard J. Cigrand, who arranged for that celebration, is widely regarded as the father of Flag Day. He was also the first president of the American Flag Day Association. Cigrand traveled the country giving speeches and promoting the observance of Flag Day on June 14.
*Flag Day has never been an official federal holiday. It is, however, outlined in Title 36 of the United States code, and is designated as an official observance.
* The president issues a proclamation during the week of June 14 designating the entire week as Flag Week. American citizens are urged to fly the flag for the duration of the week, and all government buildings are required to display the flag.
* Flag Week does not officially take place until the presidential proclamation. It can be postponed or canceled at the president’s discretion simply by not issuing the proclamation.
* Woodrow Wilson was the first president to issue a proclamation for the observance of Flag Day.
* Several people tried to get a similar observance resolution passed prior to 1949, including the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution and Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin and president of the Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania in 1893.
* No one knows for sure who made the first flag. Most historians do not believe that Betsy Ross made it, and Congressman Francis Hopkinson most likely designed it.
* The first Flag Act stated hat “the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
* The colors of the flag each have special meaning. White signifies purity and innocence; red hardiness and valor; and blue vigilance, perseverance and justice.
* There are several parades that take place on Flag Day annually, the largest of which is in Troy, N.Y.
* Flag Day is also considered a day to honor those who have died defending our flag and country.
*Several other countries celebrate the adoption of their flags. Canada’s Flag Day is Feb. 15, and Australia’s is Sept. 3.
* The term Flag Day is also a phrase of computer jargon meaning a complete restart or conversion of a sizable amount of data or network software. The scheduled day on which the changes will become effective is called the “flag day.”
History of Flag Day at United-States-Flag.com
History of Flag Day at USFlag.org
Flag Facts at Steve4U.com