The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.† On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.
Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as 'Flag Day', and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.† Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 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. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, 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.
Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words 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."
Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
Days to Raise the American Flag: 2019
We fly Old Glory every day ó weather permitting.
We have a flagpole with solar lights on the top so we can keep her flying at night. Nothing like the Stars and Stripes on a clear night with too many stars to count in the background!
While some attack what Old Glory stands for; we fly her proudly. Hope you will do the same!
My Name is Old Glory; Long May I Wave
Below are the official 2019 dates that are recognized as days to raise the Flag, including when you should fly at half-staff.
New Yearís Day: January 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: January 21
Lincolnís Birthday: February 12
Presidentís Day/Washingtonís Birthday: February 18
National Vietnam War Veterans Day: March 29
Easter Sunday: April 21
VE Day: May 8
If anyone, then, asks me the meaning of our flag, I say to him Ė it means just what Concord and Lexington meant; what Bunker Hill meant; which was, in short, the rising up of a valiant young people against an old tyranny to establish the most momentous doctrine that the world had ever known Ė the right of men to their own selves and to their liberties. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Motherís Day: May 12
Peace Officerís Memorial Day: May 15 (half-staff)
Armed Forces Day: May 18
Memorial Day: May 27 (half-staff until noon)
D-Day: June 6 ó 75th Anniversary in 2019
Flag Day / Armyís Birthday: June 14
Fatherís Day: June 16
Independence Day: July 4
National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day: July 27
Coast Guard Birthday: August 4
I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself, the pictured suggestion of that big thing which makes this nation. My stars and my stripes are your dream and your labors. They are bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, firm with faith, because you have made them so out of your heart. For you are the makers of the flag and it is well that you glory in the making. ~Franklin Knight Lane
VJ Day: September 2
Labor Day: September 2
Patriot Day: September 11 (half-staff)
POW/MIA Recognition Day: September 20
Constitution Day: September 17
Air Force Birthday: September 18
Gold Star Motherís Day: September 29
Navy Birthday: October 13
Columbus Day: October 14
Election Day: November 8, 2016
The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights. It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life. It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, but of a history. ~Woodrow Wilson
Marine Corps Birthday: November 10
Veterans Day: November 11
Thanksgiving Day: November 28
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: December 7 (half-staff)
National Guard Birthday: December 13
Christmas Day: December 25
Birthdays of States: (The date of admission)
The American Flag does not fly because the wind moves past it. The American Flag flies from the last breath of each Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine who has died protecting it.