Flag Day is traditionally celebrated on June 14 with an abundance of flags displayed on storefronts, homes and in yards.
The nation’s flag has a long history that began long before the United States of America gained independence from Great Britain. According to the Library of Congress, this history started when Betsy Ross was commissioned by George Washington to create a flag that would signal the nation’s new beginnings through the Deceleration of Independence.
The original rendition of the flag has changed with the addition of new states as the country expanded west. The U.S. flag reached its current design after Hawaii joined the United States in 1960, according to the Library of Congress.
Celebrations of the flag were officially recognized by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and Calvin Coolidge in 1927; both of whom issued proclamations appointing June 14 as National Flag Day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
But it was not until August 1949 that President Harry Truman signed it into law after Congress approved a national observance.
There are many claims regarding the first celebrations of the U.S. flag. These claims range from 1861 in Connecticut to 1889 in New York where Professor George Bolch held Flag Day celebrations in his school, says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
It is said that after this celebration, the State Department of Education sought to have all public schools recognize this day, along with celebrations of Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays, as well as Memorial Day.
Another claim, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, include a resolution submitted by the Society of Colonial Dames in Philadelphia, though, this resolution was not established until 1937.
Bernard J. Cigrand, the most widely recognized Flag Day organizer, worked hard as a patriot to establish an official day to celebrate the nation’s history through recognition of the flag.
The National Flag Day website says his first public proposal was an article entitled “The Fourteenth of June” that was published in the Chicago Argus newspaper. Cigrand published many more articles in the “American Standard” magazine and many other publications, according to the National Flag Day website. In 1888, he addressed the Chicago organization Sons of America where he spoke about the importance of celebrating the nation’s flag, says the website.
Today, Flag Day is celebrated with parades, games, and fireworks; but most importantly the display and recognition of Old Glory.