Flag Day

Categories:National Holidays
Jim Bolinger

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 in memory of the day in 1777 when the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. It is not an official national holiday, but the President proclaims a public Flag Day observance every year. In Pennsylvania, Flag Day is a legal holiday.

On Flag Day, people in the United States display the flag on their homes, businesses, and public buildings. Some schools honor the flag with special programs that may feature discussions of the flag’s origin and meaning. Many patriotic organizations hold parades and other Flag Day demonstrations.

Flag Day was first officially observed in 1877 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the selection of the flag. Congress requested all public buildings to fly the flag on June 14 of that year. Some people suggested that Flag Day be observed each year. Early leaders of campaigns to establish Flag Day as an annual national celebration included William T. Kerr of Pittsburgh and Bernard J. Cigrand of Waubeka, Wis. In 1897, the governor of New York proclaimed a Flag Day celebration for the first time as an annual event in that state. President Woodrow Wilson established Flag Day as an annual national celebration in his proclamation issued on May 30, 1916. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman officially recognized June 14 as Flag Day by signing the National Flag Day Bill.

Jack Santino, PhD., Prof., Department of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University