All About Flag Day
The official flag of the United States of America is an integral part of our national identity. The first flag was adopted on June 14, 1777, under the First Continental Congress. Even though the Revolutionary War was well underway by the time it was adopted, it became an important symbol. Each year on June 14, Americans all over the country raise their flags and attend special ceremonies to honor the flag. Here’s more information about Flag Day and how we can celebrate it.
Learn About the History of Flag Day
An Act of Congress made national Flag Day official in 1949, but Flag Day celebrations occurred much earlier than that. The first Flag Day observance likely took place in 1877 to celebrate the flag’s hundred-year birthday. The first nationally recognized Flag Day took place in Wisconsin in 1885 and was organized by CJ Cigrand, whom we now refer to as the “Father of Flag Day.” It received national recognition by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 when he told Americans to set aside June 14 each year to honor the flag.
Observe National Flag Week
Over time, Flag Day extended into a one-week time period where the President of the United States would urge everyone to raise their American flags for an entire week, starting on June 14. Each year, the President releases an official Presidential Proclamation to kick things off.
Here’s an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation for National Flag Week in 2014:
“Over farmlands and town squares, atop skyscrapers and capitol buildings, the American Flag soars. It reminds us of our history — 13 colonies that rose up against an empire — and celebrates the spirit of 50 proud States that form our Union today. On Flag Day and during National Flag Week, we pay tribute to the banner that weaves us together and waves above us all.”
President Obama encouraged us to raise our flags during National Flag Week in observance of Flag Day.
Attend a Flag Day Ceremony
In addition to displaying the American flag, there are other ways to celebrate Flag Day. There are parades all over the United States in places including Quincy, Massachusetts, which claims to have the longest-running Flag Day parade in the United States, and Troy, New York. Other activities include special programs at historical sites and even essay contests. Check with your town or city to see what kinds of programs are being offered in your area.
Gifts on Flag Day
Traditionally Flag Day is not a holiday when gifts are exchanged. But there are no rules to gift-giving, so feel free to do what you think is right. Because thinking of you or just because gifts not only make the recipient feel loved, but they give the gift giver a boost of endorphins and elevate your mood.
Celebrate With a Barbecue
You don’t need to wait for your town or city to hold a special event to celebrate. You can always invite your friends and family over for an all about Flag Day barbecue! Raise your American flag and invite friends and family to celebrate. You can serve all the typical barbecue foods while also taking some time to honor the flag. So, now you know all about Flag Day.
Even though National Flag Day isn’t a federal holiday, it’s still an important day to observe!