Its Flag Day, a day to celebrate the red, white, and blue, which dates back all the way to June 14, 1777.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution on this day, outlining the design of the flag. After the initial resolution, the flag was carried into the Battle of Brandywine, saluted by foreign naval vessels and flown over a foreign territory.

Despite the early origins of the flag, the first observance of Flag Day did not come for over a century. The Veteran Affairs website notes that there are many claims to the origins of the day, but the most recognized claim came from New York.

“On June 14, 1889, Professor George Bolch, principal of a free kindergarten for the poor of New York City, had his school hold patriotic ceremonies to observe the anniversary of the Flag Day resolution. This initiative attracted attention from the State Department of Education, which arranged to have the day observed in all public schools thereafter,” a Veteran Affairs publication states.

The observance of Flag Day spread across the state of New York and in other states, but it did not quickly come into national observance.  In fact, both Presidents Wilson and Coolidge issued proclamations asking for June 14 to be Flag Day, but the day did not become official until President Harry Truman signed it into law on August 3, 1949.

To celebrate the American Flag, here are some fun facts about the stars and stripes:

  • The original resolution for the flag read, “That the flag of the United States shall be of thirteen stripes of alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white in a blue field, representing the new constellation.” This resolution was adopted on June 14, 1777.

  • Between 1777 and 1960 there were several acts enacted by Congress to change the flag to reflect each new state, according to PBS.

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  • The flag has strict guidelines on how it should be displayed. Never let it touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise

  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  • The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. This is why flag pins are supposed to be worn on the left lapel, over the heart.

  • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.

 

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