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News > Flag Day to be celebrated June 14
Flag Day to be celebrated June 14

Posted 6/11/2010   Updated 6/11/2010 Email story   Print story


by Karen Guendel
66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

6/11/2010 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- This year's Flag Day celebrates the 233rd anniversary of the adoption of the United States flag. On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Act, which reads, in its entirety, "Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

According to www.usflag.org, Flag Day is believed to have begun in 1885, when B.J. Cigrand, a public school teacher in Fredonia, Wis., and his students observed June 14 as Flag Birthday.

Although Flag Day is not a federal holiday, it was established by proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson in1916. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day.

One of the longest running Flag Day parades is held annually in Quincy, Mass. For information about this year's parade, to be held Saturday, June 12, visit the City of Quincy website at www.quincyma.gov.

Here are some fun facts from www.usflag.org:
  • Betsy Ross told her grandson, William J. Canby, that she sewed the first American flag in 1776. Because there is no documentation of the creation of the first flag, many historians doubt that her story is true.
  • The Flag Act of 1818 stipulated that each state be represented by a star and that any new stars be added on Independence Day.
  • Since the Flag Act of 1777, there have been 27 different national flags. The current flag was adopted on July 4, 1960 when the 50th star was added to represent Hawaii.
  • In 1892, Boston's "The Youth's Companion" magazine published the first version of the Pledge of Allegiance, written by Francis Bellamy, for school children to recite in honor of Columbus Day.
  • U.S. Code, Title 36, Chapter 10 dictates that "The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day."
  • The study of flags is called "vexillology."

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