October 30, 2014

Celebrate Flag Day June 14

In the US, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the US, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially establishing June 14 as Flag Day. In August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.  Flag Day is not an official federal holiday.

Bemare J. Cigrand, a grade school teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin in 1885, held the first recognized formal observance of Flag Day at Stony Hill School.  Mr. Cigrand spoke around the country promoting patriotism, respect for the flag and the need for the annual observance of a flag day on each anniversary of the day that the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes.  He is credited with being the “Father of Flag Day.”

In 1893, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin and the President of Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania, attempted to have a resolution passed requiring the American Flag to be displayed on all of Philadelphia’s public buildings. Some credit her with Philadelphia as Flag Day’s original home. In 1937, Pennsylvania became the first state to make Flag Day a legal holiday.

Betsy Ross was a seamstress who made clothes for George Washington. In June 1776, Washington approached Ross to make the country’s first flag.

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 flag. This is called Flag Etiquette. The American flag should be held in the highest regards. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag. Following is the basics for displaying the American Flag:

  • FLag DayThe flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset

  • In the morning raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower the flag slowly. Always, raise and lower the flag ceremoniously.

  • The flag should not be flown at night without a light.

  • The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.

  • After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown 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 at the end of the pole (away from your house).

  • The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.

  • The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are 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 your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it.  Your old flag should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.

  • There is a special ceremony for retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see.  Contact your local Boy Scouts or VFW for a time and place.

Flag Day is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag and its designers and makers. Our flag is representative of 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 battle fought by Americans. Many people have died protecting it. It even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.

As Americans, we have every to be proud of our culture, our nation and our flag. So raise the flag today and every day with pride!

 

Mary Lane, Commemorative Events Chairman

James Stewart Chapter NSDAR

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