Tuesday, June 14, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1980


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Flag Day was established by a proclamation signed by President Woodrow Wilson on May 30,1916, but National Flag Day was established by the Congress of the United States and the law was signed by President Harry S Truman on August 3, 1949.

The Continental Congress adopted the Flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by stipulating that...

"the flag of the United States shall be 13 alternate stripes red and white" and"that the Union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

According to J. Cigrand, a teacher in Wisconsin, came up with the idea for Flag Day by having students in his public school district to observe June 14, 1885 as 'Flag Birthday.'

Eventually, Mr. Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn organized the American Flag Day Association which sponsored the first general public school celebration of Flag Day in Chicago on June 14, 1894.  It was an event in which 300,000 students participated.

In 1961, President Kennedy issued a proclamation directing that the flag of the United States be "displayed on all government buildings on (Flag Day) June 14, 1961."

The proclamation reads....

"The American flag is emblematic of a Nation indivisible although its people are of diverse ethnic strains, races and religions; and

Our flag symbolizes the ideals of freedom, justice and brotherhood which are deeply rooted in our political and spiritual traditions and which have helped our country become a land of progress and a rampart of liberty; and

In combat our flag has always been a guide and inspiration to our armed forces...".

One of the most patriotic songs of American history is George M. Cohan's "You're a Grand Old Flag." 

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave
You're the emblem of
The land I love
The home of the free & the brave
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red White & Blue
Where there's never a boast or brag
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.


"The History of Flag Day,"

"You're a Grand Old Flag,"


Flag Day Poster
June 14, 1917
Library of Congress Image