Flag Day

Flag Day

Dennis Snider

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OnJune 14, 1777, the Continental Congress replaced the British symbolsof the Grand Union flag with a new design featuring 13 white stars ina circle on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes – one foreach state. Although it is not certain, this flag may have been madeby the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross, who was an official flagmaker for the Pennsylvania Navy. The number of stars increased as thenew states entered the Union, but the number of stripes stopped at 15and was later returned to 13.

InJune 1886 Bernard Cigrand made his first public proposal for theannual observance of the birth of the flag when he wrote an articletitled “The Fourteenth of June” in the old Chicago Argusnewspaper. Cigrand’s effort to ensure national observance of FlagDay finally came when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamationcalling for a nationwide observance of the event on June 14, 1916.However, Flag Day did not become official until August 1949, whenPresident Harry Truman signed the legislation and proclaimed June 14as Flag Day. In 1966, Congress also requested that the Presidentissue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14occurs as National Flag Week.

ThePresident is requested to issue each year a proclamation to: call ongovernment officials in the USA to display the flag of the UnitedStates on all government buildings on Flag Day; and to urge USresidents to observe Flag Day as the anniversary of the adoption onJune 14, 1777, by the Continental Congress of the Stars and Stripesas the official flag of the United States.

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