In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.
The week of June 14 is designated as “National Flag Week.” During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all Government buildings. Some organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents.
Flag Day – a Brief History
- In 1818, after 5 more states joined the Union, Congress passed legislation fixing the number of stripes at 13 and requiring that the number of stars equal the number of states. The flag has 13 stripes that represent each of the 13 original colonies and fifty stars: one for each U.S. state.
- In 1885, Bernard Cigrand, a Wisconsin schoolteacher, unofficially called June 14th the American flag’s birthday.
- From the late 1880s on, Cigrand promoted the need for Flag Day.
- In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day.
- In 1937, Pennsylvania became the first and only state to recognize Flag Day.
- 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14 National Flag Day.
- The U.S. flag has special names: Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and Star-Spangled Banner.
Proper Flag Disposal
According to the U.S. Flag Code, any American flag that is worn, damaged or tattered beyond repair should be destroyed privately in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. Many veteran and civic organizations will properly dispose of the flag, often on Flag Day, in a traditional flag-burning ceremony.