Flag Day: Congress Adopts the Stars and Stripes

Flag Day: Congress Adopts the Stars and Stripes


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During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.

With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.

READ MORE: Did Betsy Ross Really Make the First American Flag?


Flag Day: Congress Adopts the Stars and Stripes - HISTORY

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag for the new nation. The resolution stated: “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.” On Aug. 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman officially declared June 14 as Flag Day.

The history of our flag is as fascinating as that of the American Republic itself. It has survived battles, inspired songs and evolved in response to the growth of the country it represents. The following is a collection of interesting facts and customs about the American flag and how it is to be displayed:

Origins

  • The origin of the first American flag is unknown. Some historians believe it was designed by New Jersey Congressman Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross.
  • The name Old Glory was given to a large, 10-by-17-foot flag by its owner, William Driver, a sea captain from Massachusetts. Inspiring the common nickname for all American flags, Driver’s flag is said to have survived multiple attempts to deface it during the Civil War. Driver was able to fly the flag over the Tennessee Statehouse once the war ended. The flag is a primary artifact at the National Museum of American History and was last displayed in Tennessee by permission of the Smithsonian at an exhibition in 2006.

Old Glory
Photo Credit: Hugh Talman / NMAH, SI

  • Between 1777 and 1960 Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.
  • Today the flag consists of 13 horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white. The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
  • The National Museum of American History has undertaken a long-term preservation project of the enormous 1814 garrison flag that survived the 25-hour shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore by British troops and inspired Francis Scott Key to compose “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Often referred to by that name, the flag had become soiled and weakened over time and was removed from the museum in December 1998. This preservation effort began in earnest in June 1999, and continues to this day. The flag is now stored at a 10-degree angle in a special low-oxygen, filtered light chamber and is periodically examined at a microscopic level to detect signs of decay or damage within its individual fibers.
  • There are a few locations where the U.S. flag is flown 24 hours a day, by either presidential proclamation or by law:

– Fort McHenry, National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Maryland

– Flag House Square, Baltimore, Maryland

– United States Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima), Arlington, Virginia

– On the Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts

– The White House, Washington, D.C.

– United States customs ports of entry

– Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania


Flag Day

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag.

Since 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14, Americans have commemorated the adoption of the Stars and Stripes in many ways–displaying the flag in the front of their homes, parades, and other patriotic observances. Prior to 1916, many localities and a few states had been celebrating the day for years. Congressional legislation designating that date as the national Flag Day was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949 the legislation also called upon the president to issue a flag day proclamation every year.

Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.

Saturday, June 14, 1777. In Journals of the Continental Congress. p. 464. A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

According to legend, in 1776, George Washington commissioned Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create a flag for the new nation. Scholars, however, credit the flag’s design to Francis Hopkinson, who also designed the Great Seal and first coin of the United States. Even so, Ross most likely met Washington and certainly sewed early American flags in her family’s Philadelphia upholstery shop. To date, there have been twenty-seven official versions of the flag, but the arrangement of the stars varied according to the flag-makers’ preferences until 1912 when President Taft standardized the then-new flag’s forty-eight stars into six rows of eight. The forty-nine-star flag (1959-60), as well as the fifty-star flag, also have standardized star patterns. The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959.

Central High School. School children at Central High III. [Prince George’s County, Maryland]. Theodor Horydczak, photographer, ca. 1920-50. Horydczak Collection. Prints & Photograhs Division Elmhurst flag day, June 18, 1939, Du Page County centennial / Beauparlant. Chicago, Ill.: WPA Federal Art Project, 1939. Posters: WPA Posters. Prints & Photographs Division

Interviews in American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940 contain entertaining examples of Flag Day in the American vernacular. For example, a search on Flag Day retrieves the following conversation between Mr. Richmond and Mr. Davis:

“Why ain’t you got your flag out?” says Mr. Richmond, entering the gas station in which he spends much of his time these days. “You know today is flag day, don’t you?”

“I guess the boss forgot to buy a flag, George,” says Mr. Davis, the station attendant. “And even if we had one, we ain’t got no place to put it.”

Mr. Richmond: “That’s a fine state of affairs, that is. Here they are tryin’ to bring home to you people the fact that you’re livin’ in one of the few countries where you can draw a free breath and you don’t even know it. You’re supposed to have flags out all this week. Don’t you know that? This is flag day and this is flag week. Where’s your patriotism?”

Mr. Davis: “What the hell are you hollerin’ about, George? You’re always runnin’ the country down. They can’t do anything to suit you. You’re worryin’ about taxes and future generations and all like that. Where’s your patriotism?”

Mr. Richmond: “Well, that’s different. A man got a right to criticize. That’s free speech. Don’t mean I ain’t patriotic.”

“Richmond.” George Richmond, interviewee Connecticut, ca. 1936-39. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940. Manuscript Division

“I do not salute the flag because I have promised to do the will of God,” wrote ten-year-old Billy Gobitas, a Jehovah’s Witness, to the board of the Minersville (Pennsylvania) School District in 1935. Like most public school students at the time, Gobitas was required to salute and pledge allegiance to the flag daily. His refusal to do so touched off one of several constitutional battles over the authority of the state to require respect for national symbols and the right of individuals to freedom of speech.

Both the United States district court and the court of appeals ruled in favor of the right to refuse to salute the flag. In 1940, however, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the government did have the authority to compel respect for the flag as a central symbol of national unity. Just three years later, on June 14, 1943, the Supreme Court reconsidered its earlier decision, holding that the right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment denies the government the authority to compel individuals to salute the American flag or to recite the pledge of allegiance.

Flag Day, Ft. Sam Houston, Tex., 1918. M.F. Weaver, cJune 14, 1918. Panoramic Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division


Flag Day 2021: What is the history behind the U.S. holiday?

Stars & Stripes. The distinctive flag that became the symbol of the U.S. has its own day to celebrate. On June 14th, the land of the free and the home of the brave marks the day when the representation of American pride is celebrated, symbolizing hope, freedom, and opportunity for over two centuries ― 240 years, to be more exact.

Through the years, the U.S. flag has gone through several modifications, always in tune with the number of states. One thing never changed though: its thirteen stripes have always represented the initial number of colonies that declared independence from the British crown in 1776.

Since the day the flag was adopted, there were multiple attempts to establish a fixed day where we celebrate the stars & stripes. However, Flag Day wasn&rsquot made into an official holiday until the twentieth century. Since Flag Day 2021 is here, here&rsquos the history behind the date & the celebration.

Continental Congress adopts flag

The Stars & Stripes flag was officially adopted as a symbol of the United States on June 14th, 1777. On that day, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that &ldquo the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation&rdquo.

The document making the flag official was adopted exactly two years after the U.S. Army was founded. On that day, centuries before our time in 2021, the Continental Congress adopted the &ldquoAmerican continental army&rdquo through a consensus vote in the Committee of the Whole.

Despite the official date, no celebrations were considered until almost a century later, when the first records of that were made available.

Morris & Cigrand: Pioneers in celebrating

The first recorded celebrations of the U.S. Flag Day came in from a Connecticut man named George Morris. He helped the City of Hartford organize a Flag Day in 1861 &ndash 140 years before Flag day 2021 &ndash whose celebrations included &ldquo patriotic order, praying for the success of the Federal arms and the preservation of the Union&rdquo, as stated in Kansas : a Cyclopedia of State History.

Despite the attempt, the celebration never became a tradition. However, a major attempt to make the day a true tradition started in Waubeka, Wisconsin. In that town, a school teacher named Bernard Cigrand held the first recognized formal Flag Day event at Stony Hill School in 1885.

Cigrand moved to Chicago to attend dental school, and his advocacy for Flag Day only grew. And his fight had some good results: Chicago&rsquos public schools held a celebration on the third Saturday of June 1894, and he also founded the American Flag Day Association, with the mission to promote the date across the nation.

Other initiatives

After the Wisconsin initiative, other Flag Day actions followed suit all over the U.S. in the following years. School teacher Sarah Hinson, of Buffalo, New York, started doing Flag Day exercises on June 14th, 1891, where students pledged allegiance to the flag and saluted it.

In Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin and the president of the Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania, tried to pass a resolution that would make Flag Day remembered by requiring public buildings in Philadelphia to display the flag. More initiatives were taken and organizations were open in the years to come. But one in particular developed a very important role in making the Flag Day official.

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks catches presidential attention

This Ohio organization is also one of the pioneer entities that has celebrated Flag Day since its early foundation years. As a condition of membership, each one of the participants of the association had to plead allegiance to the flag.

In 1907, the Grand Lodge of the Order resolved to designate June 14th as Flag Day. as well as it adopted mandatory observance of the occasion by every Lodge in 1911, with that requirement still in place in 2021. Such patriotic actions caught the attention of President Woodrow Wilson, who recognized the Order&rsquos patriotic expression and officially declared June 14 as the Flag Day through a proclamation in 1916.

But, the date only became of national observance on August 3rd, 1949, when Congress officially made Flag Day a national holiday. Despite that fact, the date is not a federal holiday, and only the president can determine its full observance.

Flag Day is here. If you appreciate what the U.S. has been for humanity, fly the flag no matter where you are. It&rsquos the symbol of freedom, and opportunity for all nations.

What do you think of Flag Day? Will you be celebrating it in 2021? Let us know in the comments.


A brief history of Flag Day

The Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes for the national flag on June 14, 1777.

"The first national observance of Flag Day took place 100 years after the original resolution on June 14, 1877," the U.S. Government Publishing Office explains.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a flag of this design was first carried into battle during the Battle of the Brandywine on September 11, 1777.

The department says the flag was first saluted by foreign naval ships on February 14, 1778, "when the Ranger, bearing the Stars and Stripes and under the command of Captain Paul Jones, arrived in a French port."

It was first flown over a foreign territory in early 1778 at Nassau in the Bahamas, "where Americans captured a British fort," the department adds.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation for the national observance of Flag Day to take place on June 14.

The Library of Congress explains: "Congressional legislation designating that date as the national Flag Day was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949 the legislation also called upon the president to issue a flag day proclamation every year."

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the name "Old Glory" for the national flag was first coined by a sea captain who received the flag for his 21st birthday on March 17, 1824 from his mother and a group of local women.

Delighted with the gift, Capt. William Driver exclaimed "I name her Old Glory" and the flag joined him on many of his voyages.

The department said: "Captain Driver quit the sea in 1837 and settled in Nashville, Tenn. On patriotic days, he displayed Old Glory proudly from a rope extending from his house to a tree across the street."


U.S. Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes

During the American Revolution, the Second Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." The national flag, which became known as the "Stars and Stripes," was based on the "Grand Union" flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes.

According to legend, Philadelphian seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend. With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union.

In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored to honour the original colonies and that only stars be added to represent new states. The current flag with 50 stars is the longest rendition in use, with Hawaii being the last state to gain statehood in 1959. On 14 June 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the US flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated 14 June as Flag Day, a national day of observance.


This Day in History: U.S. adopts 'stars and stripes' as national flag

The Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag on June 14, 1777.

The first design of the national flag, called the Grand Union flag, combined the British Union Jack with the 13 alternating red and white stripes from the Sons of Liberty flag. The Grand Union was flown in 1776 by then-militia Colonel George Washington when he took command of the continental troops outside of Boston.

After the colonies had declared independence, the navy needed their own flag to fly to distinguish themselves. It is believed that Chairman of the Navy Board Francis Hopkinson created a naval ensign by replacing the Union Jack with 13 six-pointed stars on a blue field. When the flag was presented to Congress, they adopted the stars as part of the national flag to represent "a new Constellation."

Hopkinson later asked for a quarter cask of wine as payment, which Congress denied.

Because the flag resolution lacked any specific details other than 13 stripes and 13 stars, many variations of the flag were flown during the revolution, some of which dropped the six-pointed stars for five-pointed stars. The most famous of which features the 13 five-pointed stars in a circle, which was credited to seamstress Betsy Ross 100 years later.

As Vermont and Kentucky joined the Union, two new stars and two new stripes were added.

During the War of 1812, the battered 15-star, 15-stripe flag still flying over Fort McHenry inspired poet Francis Scott Key to write "Defence of Fort M'Henry." The first verse of this poem became the lyrics for the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."

In 1818, Congress passed a law stipulating that the flag's stripes would return to 13 to represent the original colonies, and that only new stars would be added as new states joined the Union.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day was observed in celebration of 100 years since adopting the national flag. In 1949, Congress officially declared June 14 as a national day of observance.


5 Flag Day Facts to Know

1. The U.S. flag’s uncertain origins: Elizabeth "Betsy" Griscom Ross is often credited for the creation of the first American flag. Her involvement, however, has not been successfully confirmed by historians or government agencies. The claim that she played a significant role in putting together the 13-starred and striped flag came from her grandson William Canby in 1870, who submitted a paper to the Historical Society that detailed her alleged involvement, according to Britannica.

The first American flag features 13 stars and stripes. It was adopted on June 14, 1777. (iStock)

Canby’s paper suggested Ross was asked to design the flag by George Washington and had convinced him to go with a five-pointed star instead of a six-pointed one, but none of these details could be verified since Ross passed away in 1839 and Washington passed away in 1799. Nor is there any documentation to support the family legend. However, artists throughout the years have depicted Ross fashioning the U.S. flag.

The U.S. Department of the Interior can at least say Ross was an accomplished upholsterer who did make bed hangings for Washington in 1774 while he was in Philadelphia. She also sewed uniforms, tents and flags for the Continental Army, the government website states.

2. Flag colors: The colors of the U.S. flag are red, white and blue. According to the official website of the United States government, red symbolizes "valor and bravery" while white symbolizes "purity and innocence" and blue symbolizes "vigilance, perseverance, and justice."

The colors of the U.S. flag are red, white and blue. Each color has a symbolic meaning, according to the U.S. government. (iStock)

3. Designs throughout the years: There have been 27 official versions of the American flag since its first adoption more than 240 years ago.

The first flag featured 13 stars and stripes to represent the 13 colonies. On June 14, 1777, John Adams reportedly said, "Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation," at a Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, according to the Library of Congress.

There have been 27 official versions of the American flag since its first adoption more than 240 years ago. (iStock)

The current American flag, which features 50 stars and 13 stipes to represent each U.S. state and the original British colonies that declared their independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. The flag was adopted in 1958 as the U.S. prepared to add Alaska and Hawaii to the union. Robert G. Heft, a 17-year-old high school student at the time, was responsible for the design. The Lancaster High School student originally created the 50-star flag for a school project and it was later submitted to congress by Rep. Walter Moeller (D-Ohio), according to the Chamber of Commerce.

4. Ways to celebrate: Americans who observe Flag Day often display the national flag in a prominent location, according to America’s Library. The government-run historical resource also says that salutes offered to the flag are "a way to celebrate and honor the United States of America."

Americans who observe Flag Day often display the national flag in a prominent location. (iStock)

5. Flag Day’s start: While the adoption of the first U.S. flag happened on June 14, 1777, Flag Day was initially established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, according to the Library of Congress. By 1949, President Harry Truman signed legislation that made it a national day. Since that signing, presidents have had to issue a Flag Day proclamation every year.

While Flag Day is a recognized national day, it is not considered an official federal holiday since most government agencies throughout the country are open for operation despite its calendar presence.


Podcast: Fly the Stars and Stripes on This Flag Day, Says Haverhill’s Veterans Services Officer Santiago


Today is the 244 th anniversary of the adoption of the American flag by the Continental Congress.

Flag Day began in the midst of the Revolutionary War in 1777. In a recent appearance on WHAV’s morning program, Haverhill’s Veterans Services Officer Luis Santiago talked about the significance of the day.

“Flag Day is a day that we are going to celebrate and recognize the stars and stripes of our flag, to reflect upon the values and the valor of the men and women in uniform to defended it. So, if you have a flag, raise it up high and show your patriotism towards our country,” he said.

Santiago noted residents with an American Flag that is torn or tattered may leave it at either of two drop boxes for proper disposal. One box is at the Driscoll Funeral home, 309 S. Main St., and the other at American Legion Post 4, 1314 Main St., Haverhill.

“There is a special way to retire the flags, which you have to separate the stars and stripes from each other and cut them and dispose of them in a certain way. Usually, it’s done with the Cub Scouts. The Cub Scouts are the ones that actually do the ceremony alongside the American legion, but I believe this year, with the amount of flags that we have, it would be a nice little ceremony and if anyone would like to join we will have those dates and times available when the time comes,” he said.

Santiago is also in the process of planning a ceremony honoring Haverhill’s World War II veterans.

“If you know anybody, or if anybody has information on a veteran who served in the World War II era, I’m looking to do a recognition and a ceremony for them on July 10,” he said.

Santiago said it’s unfortunate the World War II is fading from memory and he wants to salute the living veterans and show them “we care, and that we will never forget.”

“That’s my main motto, that we will never forget. I believe that if you served in that uniform and raised that right hand, I believe you should be recognized for your efforts. And I want to thank them for that,” he said.

At the moment, Santiago knows of two World War II veterans in Haverhill. One is 97 years old and the other is 93. Those with information about others who served in World War II are asked to contact Santiago at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., Haverhill, or call 978-374-2351.


Contents

Several people and/or organizations played instrumental roles in the establishment of a national Flag Day celebration. They are identified here in chronological order.

1861, George Morris Edit

The earliest reference to the suggestion of a "Flag Day" is cited in Kansas: a Cyclopedia of State History, published by Standard Publishing Company of Chicago in 1912. It credits George Morris of Hartford, Connecticut:

To Victor Morris of Hartford, Conn., is popularly given the credit of suggesting "Flag Day," the occasion being in honor of the adoption of the American flag on June 14, 1777. The city of Hartford observed the day in 1861, carrying out a program of a patriotic order, praying for the success of the Federal arms and the preservation of the Union.

The observance apparently did not become a tradition. [1]

1885, Bernard J. Cigrand Edit

Working as a grade school teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, in 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand held the first recognized formal observance of Flag Day at the Stony Hill School. The school has been restored, and a bust of Cigrand also honors him at the National Flag Day Americanism Center in Waubeka. [14]

From the late 1880s on, Cigrand spoke around the country promoting patriotism, respect for the flag, and the need for the annual observance of a flag day on June 14, the day in 1777 that the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes. [1] [15]

He moved to Chicago to attend dental school and, in June 1886, first publicly proposed an annual observance of the birth of the United States flag in an article titled "The Fourteenth of June," published in the Chicago Argus newspaper. In June 1888, Cigrand advocated establishing the holiday in a speech before the "Sons of America," a Chicago group. The organization founded a magazine, American Standard, in order to promote reverence for American emblems. Cigrand was appointed editor-in-chief and wrote articles in the magazine as well as in other magazines and newspapers to promote the holiday. [ citation needed ]

On the third Saturday in June 1894, a public school children's celebration of Flag Day took place in Chicago at Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks. More than 300,000 children participated, and the celebration was repeated the next year. [15]

Cigrand became president of the American Flag Day Association and later of the National Flag Day Society, which allowed him to promote his cause with organizational backing. Cigrand once noted he had given 2,188 speeches on patriotism and the flag. [ citation needed ]

Cigrand lived in Batavia, Illinois, from 1913 to 1932. [16]

Cigrand generally is credited with being the "Father of Flag Day," with the Chicago Tribune noting that he "almost singlehandedly" established the holiday. [ citation needed ]

1888, William T. Kerr Edit

William T. Kerr, a native of Pittsburgh and later a resident of Yeadon, Pennsylvania, founded the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania in 1888, and became the national chairman of the American Flag Day Association one year later, serving as such for fifty years. He attended President Harry S. Truman's 1949 signing of the Act of Congress that formally established the observance. [ citation needed ]

1889, George Bolch Edit

In 1889, the principal of a free kindergarten, George Bolch, celebrated the Revolution and celebrated Flag Day, as well. [1] [17]

1891, Sarah Hinson Edit

Sarah Hinson, a school teacher in Buffalo, NY began Flag Day exercises, (teaching the children to salute the Flag and repeat the Pledge of Allegiance) to instill in her pupils proper respect for the nation's flag, holding the first ceremony in 1891. She chose June 14th because that was the day in 1777 when the Continental Congress accepted the design of the "American" Flag. [18]

1893, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie Edit

In 1893, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin and the president of the Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania, attempted to have a resolution passed requiring the American flag to be displayed on all Philadelphia's public buildings. [1] In 1937, Pennsylvania became the first state to make Flag Day a legal holiday. [17]

1907, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Edit

American fraternal order and social club the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has celebrated the holiday since the early days of the organization and allegiance to the flag is a requirement of every member. [20] In 1907, the BPOE Grand Lodge designated by resolution June 14 as Flag Day. The Grand Lodge of the Order adopted mandatory observance of the occasion by every Lodge in 1911, and that requirement continues. [20]

The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order's observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression. [20]

1913, City of Paterson, New Jersey Edit

During the 1913 Paterson silk strike, IWW leader "Big" Bill Haywood asserted that someday all of the world's flags would be red, "the color of the working man's blood." In response, the city's leaders (who opposed the strike) declared March 17 to be "Flag Day," and saw to it that each of the city's textile mills flew an American flag. This attempt by Paterson's leaders to portray the strikers as un-American backfired when the strikers marched through the city with American flags of their own, along with a banner that stated: [21]

WE WEAVE THE FLAG

WE LIVE UNDER THE FLAG

WE DIE UNDER THE FLAG

BUT DAM'D IF WE'LL STARVE UNDER THE FLAG.

For Flag Day 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched an international "United Flag Day" or "United Nations Day", celebrating solidarity among the World War II Allies, six months after the Declaration by United Nations. [22] [23] It was observed in New York City as the "New York at War" parade, and throughout the United States and internationally from 1942 to 1944. [ citation needed ]

The week of June 14 (June 14–20, 2020 June 13–19, 2021 June 12–18, 2022) is designated as "National Flag Week." During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation "urging the people to observe the day as the anniversary of the adoption on June 14, 1777, by the Continental Congress of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States of America." The flag should also be displayed on all government buildings. Some organizations, such as the town of Quincy, Massachusetts, hold parades and events in celebration of America's national flag and everything it represents. [ citation needed ]

The National Flag Day Foundation holds an annual observance for Flag Day on the second Sunday in June (June 14, 2020 June 13, 2021 June 12, 2022). The program includes a ceremonial raising of the national flag, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, a parade and other events. [1]

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland, birthplace of the 1813 flag that inspired Francis Scott Key (1779–1843) to pen his famous poem a year later, has celebrated Flag Day since the 1927. In that year, a museum was created in the home of flag-banner-pennant maker Mary Pickersgill on the historic property. [ citation needed ]

The annual celebrations on Flag Day and also Defenders Day (September 12, since 1814) commemorate the Star-Spangled Banner and its creator Mary Pickersgill, for the huge emblem that flew over Fort McHenry guarding Baltimore harbor during the British Royal Navy's three days attack in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812 (1812–1815). [ citation needed ]

The Betsy Ross House, home of legendary Betsy Ross has long been the site of Philadelphia's observance of Flag Day. [1]

Coincidentally, June 14 is also the date for the annual anniversary of the Bear Flag Revolt in California. On June 14, 1846, 33 American settlers and mountain men arrested the Mexican general in command at Sonoma, and declared the "Bear Flag Republic" on the Pacific Ocean coast as an independent nation. A flag emblazoned with a bear, a red stripe, a star and the words "California Republic" was raised to symbolize independence from Mexico of the former province of Alta California. The Bear Flag was adopted as California's state flag upon joining the Union as the 31st state in 1850, after being annexed by the United States following the Mexican–American War of 1846–1849. [24] Prominently flying both the US and state flags on June 14 is a tradition for some Californians. [25]


Thank you!

During the last two decades of the 19th century, a period that saw both industrial revolution and the effort to reunite the nation after the Civil War, the flag image increasingly began appearing on national products and advertisements, thanks largely to advances in color printing and mass production. (In fact, flag protection measures to ensure proper handling of this “sacred” American institution were created only after the image of the flag started appearing on beer and whiskey bottles.) This groundswell of patriotism, as expressed via affection for the flag, continued through the official establishment of Flag Day in 1916, the selection of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the National Anthem in 1931, and the official recognition of the Pledge of Allegiance by Congress on June 22, 1942.

As for the flag’s incorporation onto clothing and other personal items that go beyond the realm of actual banners, the 1970s saw a red, white and blue explosion.

First, that was the decade that saw the spread of what is perhaps the most ubiquitous (or at least most talked about) flag item these days. The flag lapel pin, now a mainstay for politicians, has been traced to the 1972 Robert Redford film The Candidate. Inspired by the movie, Republican President Richard Nixon and aide H.R. Haldeman helped popularize the wearing of the flag lapel pin, just as continued fighting in Vietnam and the burgeoning Watergate scandal were making many Americans question Nixon’s own patriotism, according to Woden Teachout’s Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism. At a time of great civil unease, wearing the flag could be a political statement and pundits at the time linked it specifically to the Republican side of the aisle. Coming out of the 1960s, wearing the flag (even as a t-shirt) could be, TIME noted, a potent symbol &mdash and meanwhile, radicals tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to reclaim the flag or seize on its colors in parody, with tools such as red, white and blue marijuana joints, leaving some moderates feeling that they were better off staying away from red, white and blue altogether.

But, just a few years later, as the U.S. celebrated its bicentennial in 1976, the flag got a bipartisan boost.

“It is spreading &mdash literally &mdash from top to bottom, from tricolored wigs to toilet seats, planes and trains to municipal fireplugs, Tiffany diadems to morticians’ coffins,” TIME noted. “An instant industry has sprung up manufacturing Bicentennial gewgaws such as plastic tricornes, birthday buttons, patriotic bikinis and tricolor towels. With pride, affection and occasional humor, from motives ranging from crass commercialism to plain and fancy patriotism, Americans are splashing the land with primary color that, for a change, has nothing to do with elections.”

The rare chance to wave the flag for a reason that had nothing to do with a political statement or a military campaign was irresistible for Americans who began putting the flag pattern on everything from breakfast waffles to garbage trucks. And once it spread, there was no going back.


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