Learn the history of National Flag Day

Flag Day has a long history of showing respect to our country and to ‘Old Glory’ – our Red/White/Blue emblem of freedom.

In 1885 the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated. A schoolteacher arranged for the pupils in the Wisconsin Public School to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as ‘Flag Birthday’.

On June 14, 1889, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school to observe Flag Day.

On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration.

On June 14, 1893 the Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.

In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings.

On June 14th, 1894 the first general public school children’s celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.

In 1914 Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”

On May 30, 1916 Flag Day was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson.

August 3rd, 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

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