U.S. American Flag Day and National Flag Week
About Flag Day
When is Flag Day? This holiday is always observed on June 14. National Flag Week is the week that Flag Day falls on.
Flag Day is today, a June 14 holiday. This is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, its designers, and its makers. Our flag represents the United States of America and its citizens. Our country is the greatest country in the world. We should pause today, to recognize our great country and our great citizens over the ages. Our flag represents our independence and our unity as a nation…..one nation, under God, indivisible. Our flag has a proud and glorious history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans. Many people have died protecting it. It even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.
We lovingly refer to it by other names, including:
- Old Glory
- Stars and Stripes
- The Red, White, and Blue
As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. So, raise it today and every day with pride!
Uncle Sam Day – his image was first used in 1813
Care and handling of the American flag is steeped in tradition and respect. There is a right way and a wrong way to display the Stars and Stripes. This is called Flag Etiquette. The American flag should be held in the highest regard. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag.
- The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
- In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
- Do not fly it at night without a light on it.
- Do not fly it in rainy or inclement weather.
- After a tragedy or death, fly it at half-staff for 30 days. It’s called “half staff” on land, and “half mast” on a ship.
- When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field, or “union”, is at the top and the end of the pole (away from your house).
- Always fly it at the top of the pole. Your state flag and others fly below it.
- The union is always on top. In print, the stars and blue field is always on the left.
- Never let your flag touch the ground, never…period.
- Fold your flag when storing. Don’t just stuff it in a drawer or box.
- When it is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Burn or bury them. Please do not throw it in the trash.
- Do not disrespect it in any manner.
Did you Know? There is a very special ceremony for retiring Old Glory by burning it. It is a beautiful and touching ceremony. Boy Scout groups know the proper ceremony and perform it on a regular basis. Give your old flags to them. And, attend the ceremony.
“I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.” – – John Thune
Origin of the American Flag
In 1775, the first American flag, called the Continental colors, was created for our fledgling country. But, it looked too similar to the British flag. So, on June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.
It wasn’t until 1916, that President Woodrow Wilson issued an official decree making June 14th Flag Day. However, some say the original day occurred in Wisconsin in 1885, and that Bernard J. Cigrand, a schoolteacher, began the practice of celebrating the flag’s birthday. He assigned his class to write essays about its significance.
Did you Know? There is a very special ceremony for retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see. Your local Boy Scout group knows the proper ceremony and performs it on a regular basis. If you have an old flag, give it to them. And, attend the ceremony.
Famous Flag People
Betsy Ross was a seamstress who made clothes for George Washington. She also made tents, uniforms, and flags for the Continental Army. According to folklore, in May 1776, George Washington, In June 1776, Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, members of a committee of the Continental Congress approached her to make the country’s first flag. Washington provided Betsy Ross with a rough design, which included a six-pointed star. Ross demonstrated the ease of making a five-pointed star with a single snip of the scissors. George Washington approved the five-pointed star. Betsy finished making the American flag in early June 1776. While this has been referred to as the first American flag, it actually wasn’t. The first one, called the “Continental Colors” flew in 1775. But, it looked too much like the British flag.
Francis Scott Key Inspired by the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to our national anthem as he witnessed the event as British rockets whizzed in the air while our American Flag flew in the breeze. He wrote the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the back of an envelope.
History and Origin of Flag Day
A Presidential proclamation has been issued annually for this day since 1941. It proclaims Flag Day a June 14 holiday. A Presidential proclamation has announced National Flag Week ever since 1966.
Did you Know? If you like to study flags, then you are a Vexillologist!
More June 14 Holidays
More About Today
Holiday Insights, where every day in June is a holiday, a bizarre or wacky day, an observance, or a special event. Join us in the daily calendar fun each and every day of the year.
Did You Know? There are literally thousands of daily holidays, special events, and observances, more than one for every day of the year. Many of these holidays are new. People and organizations are creating new holidays regularly. June holidays are no exception. Consequently., at Holiday Insights, we take great efforts to thoroughly research and document the details of each one, as completely and accurately as possible.