Flag Day F.A.Q.

Categories:National Holidays
Jim Bolinger
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The Origin of Flag Day

What does Flag Day represent?
Flag Day is nationally recognized and annually celebrated on June 14th. On June 14, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted a resolution which gave the new Republic its first emblem, The Flag of the United States of America.

Who is the Father of Flag Day?
We really do not know who the actual founder of Flag Day is. Three individuals that played key roles in the development of Flag Day are the following:

  • Jonathan Flynt Morris of Hartford, CT suggested to the editor of the Evening Press on June 8, 1361, that June 14th be celebrated throughout the country. he later became a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, who recognized June 14th as Flag Day beginning in 1890.
  • William T. Kerr of Pittsburgh, PA campaigned from 1882 to 1949 for a national holiday to honor the birthday of the United States Flag. He personally visited every President from William McKinley to Harry S. Truman. he was present the day the Flag Act of Congress was signed by President Truman in 1949.
  • Dr. Bernard J. Cigrand of Waubeka, WI held his first observance of Flag Day in 1885. He made his first public proposal of the idea in June 1886, through the pages of the Chicago Argus, and campaigned tirelessly thereafter in the newspaper and magazine articles, in books, and on the lecture platform, advocating recognition of this day as the “Flag BirthDay”

Which President officially proclaimed Flag Day?
In 1877, Congress declared that our Nation’s flag would be flown traditionally over all public buildings each June 14th to mark the birthday of the flag. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14th as Flag Day.
However, it was not made official until August 3, 1949, when President Harry S. Truman signed the flag Act of Congress.

What does the U.S. President proclaim on Flag Day?
According to tradition, the President issues an annual proclamation calling for the display of the Flag of the United States on all government buildings and designates the week of June 14th as National Flag Week requesting all citizens to proudly display the flag throughout the course of Flag Week.
The Presidential Flag Day proclamation also inspires the American people to celebrate from Flag Day through Independence Day as a traditional time to honor America by having public gatherings and activities in which we honor our country and publicly recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

What is the New Constellation Ceremony?
Both Congress and the President declared the year of 1986 as “The Year of the Flag.” This declaration inaugurated the annual New Constellation Ceremony first held June 14, 1986 in Pittsburgh, PA. This one of a kind Flag Day Event is sponsored jointly by National Flag Foundation and the Greater Pittsburgh Council, Boy Scouts of America. The ceremony is a salute to those who founded our Nation and to those who have preserved it. For a copy of the script, contact NFF.

Copyright.2000 by National Flag Foundation