Never has a piece of decorated cloth inspired so much pride, patriotism, and even controversy, than our American Flag. Each year, the United States celebrates Flag Day on June 14. Here are some points of interest about this important day.
The history of Flag Day dates back to 1885, when according to USFlag.org, it is believed school teacher BJ Cigrand arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes as ‘Flag Birthday’ on June 14 of that year.
Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916.
While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after President Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
The careful treatment of our American Flag is a revered custom among generations of military veterans, patriots, and conscientious households that proudly display it. Whether you fly a flag at your home or business, or are ready to adopt that tradition on Flag Day 2017, the History Channel promotes a few interesting points to remember:
- Etiquette calls for American flags to be illuminated by sunlight or another light source while on display.
- When flags are taken down from their poles, care must be taken to keep them from touching the ground.
- When the flags of cities, states, localities or groups are flown on the same staff as the American flag, Old Glory should always be at the peak.
- Flying the flag upside-down is not always intended as an act of protest. According to the Flag Code, it can also be an official distress signal.
- Despite the preponderance of “patriotic” gear ranging from tee shirts to swimsuits to boxer shorts, the Flag Code stipulates that the Stars and Stripes should not appear on apparel, bedding or decorative items.
- In the 1950s, when it seemed certain that Alaska would be admitted to the Union, designers began retooling the American flag to add a 49th star to the existing 48. Meanwhile, a 17-year-old Ohioan student named Bob Heft borrowed his mother’s sewing machine, disassembled his family’s 48-star flag and stitched on 50 stars in a proportional pattern. He handed in his creation to his history teacher for a class project, explaining that he expected Hawaii would soon achieve statehood as well. Heft also sent the flag to his congressman, Walter Moeller, who presented it to President Eisenhower after both new states joined the Union. Eisenhower selected Heft’s design, and on July 4, 1960, the president and the high school student stood together as the 50-star flag was raised for the first time.
- Ever wonder how to correctly fold an American flag? First, enlist a partner and stand facing one another, each holding both corners of one of the rectangle’s shorter sides. Working together, lift the half of the flag that usually hangs on the bottom over the half that contains the blue field of stars. Next, fold the flag lengthwise a second time so that the stars are visible on the outside. Make a triangular fold at the striped end, bringing one corner up to meet the top edge. Continue to fold the flag in this manner until only a rectangle of star-studded blue can be seen.
I hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about Flag Day. Have some you’d like to share? Contact me today!