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Facts About Flag Day

Saturday, June 14 is the 237th 'birthday' of the American Flag.

Old Glory. Credit: Patch File
Old Glory. Credit: Patch File
Patch Staff

Happy birthday, American flag!

What's the story behind you, anyway? To help you celebrate your stars and stripes, Patch offers these Flag Day facts.

Timeline of Flag Day
June 14, 1777: Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States.

June 14, 1885: Bernard J. Cigrand, a Wisconsin teacher, placed a 10-inch, 38-star flag in a bottle on his desk and assigned essays on the flag and its significance.

June 14, 1891: The Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia hosts a Flag Day celebration.

May 30, 1916: President Woodrow Wilson issues a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day.

August 3, 1949: President Harry Truman signs an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. 

June 14, 2004: The 108th United States Congress votes unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, WI.

Timeline facts courtesy of NationalFlagDay.com and USFlag.org.

Red, White and Blue Meaning

  • The stripes represent the 13 original colonies.
  • The 50 stars represent the number of states.
  • The colors of the flag have meaning, as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor; White symbolizes Purity and Innocence; Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

Meaning courtesy of PBS America Responds.

Proper Display

  • The flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset. If the flag is displayed at night it should be illuminated.
  • Never allow the flag to touch the ground or the floor.
  • When displayed on a wall or window the union (stars) should be in the upper left corner.
  • The flag should be raised quickly and lowered ceremoniously.
  • The flag is often flown at half-staff to show respect for someone who's died. When flown at half-staff, the flag should be raised to the top for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should also be raised to the top before it is lowered at the end of the day.

Proper display courtesy of PBS America Responds.

Retiring a Flag
If your flag is worn and ready to be retired, then you can contact your local VFW Chapter and ask for help properly disposing of your flag - or your local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops could also can provide this service.

Retiring a Flag Courtesy of History.org.

-Jessica Carreras provided some of the presented information.

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