This Wednesday June 14th, we celebrate Flag Day. Here is an explanation of what it is and why we celebrate it.
The First Flag Day
A 19 year old school teacher named Bernard Cigrand first proposed Flag Birthday or Flag Day in1885. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson established the day as a national holiday by making a proclamation. It was not until 1949 that President Harry Truman signed legislation that permanently made June 14 a national holiday.
Each year on Flag Day, the President signs a proclamation stating that all federal buildings fly the American flag.
The first American Flag
The design of the first flag was a circle of thirteen white stars on a field of blue. And, it had thirteen red and white stripes. The repeated number thirteen represented the original thirteen colonies. That flag replaced other British symbols of their “grand union”. The flag gained more stars and stripes as the country grew and more territories became states . The stars numbers continued to grow. It is noteworthy that the extra stripes were eventually eliminated. Returned to just thirteen . Thirteen symbolizes the thirteen colonies upon which this country was founded.
Our present flag
Our country grew. Therefore more stars were added to the flag. In the 1950’s it became clear that Alaska would be added to our country as a new state. A young man named Bob Heft disassembled a flag belonging to his family, and reassembled it to include two more stars for a total of 50. He did this for a school history project. He explained that he believed that Hawaii as well Alaska would become states. Bob sent his flag to congressman Walter Moeller. Congressman Moeller showed it to President Eisenhower.
The first 50-state flag was raised July 4, 1960. Both President Eisenhower and Bob Heft were in attendance. Bob Heft got an A in his history class.
Have a happy Flag Day, and fly our flag proudly!