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Flag Day, a celebration of Old Glory

That the flag of the United States shall be of thirteen stripes of alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white in a blue field, representing the new constellation.

Although the resolution to adopt the United States flag was established on June 14, 1777, did you know it took 172 years for Congress to approve the national observance of Flag Day? It started with educators as a slow “grass-roots” movement that spread through schools in an effort to teach children to honor our flag. One of the most recognized of these early celebrations was at a Wisconsin school on June 14, 1885 when a school teacher organized patriotic ceremonies with songs and mini-flags for the students. This celebration garnered the attention of New York’s Department of Education who committed to observing the day in all public schools.

Perhaps the first official recognition of Flag Day outside of schools was in 1897 when New York’s governor ordered that the flag be flown over all public buildings. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the Society of Colonial Dames was attempting to get a resolution passed to recognize June 14 as Flag Day but it was not until 1937 that Pennsylvania became the first (and only) state to establish the date as a “legal” holiday.

During their terms, both President Wilson and President Coolidge issued proclamations requesting that June 14th be observed as the National Flag Day but it wasn’t until 1949 that Congress approved the national observance and President Truman signed it into law.

Over the years there have been 27 official versions of the flag. Stars have been added as states were entered into the Union and our current version with 50 stars dates to July 4, 1960 when Hawaii became the 50th state.

This Saturday is Flag Day. Don’t forget to take a moment to reflect on this symbol of democracy and independence that has bound our nation together for the past 237 years. In honor of Flag Day and Father’s Day, we’ll be signing cards for the troops throughout the weekend at Glen Ivy. Please feel free to stop by to send your support and encouragement to the men and women serving our country.


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