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Why do we celebrate Flag Day on the 14th of June?

This Monday is Flag Day. It was a big deal to one school teacher well over a century ago, and it's a big deal this week.

On June 14, 1885 a 19-year old elementary school teacher from Wisconsin placed a 10-inch, 38-star flag in a bottle on his desk at the Stony Hill School in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.

He then asked his students to write essays on the flag and its significance to them. Soon the media heard about this and others were inspired to celebrate the flag as well.

This small observance by Bernard Cigrand marked the beginning of a long and devoted campaign to bring about national recognition for Flag Day. Two years later, the state board of education in New York began to observe June 14 as a holiday.

There is a reason why June 14 is observed as Flag Day. On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress approved the design of the American flag passing a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Bernard Cigrand lived to see the first official Flag Day nationwide a generation after his classroom exercise, in 1916 under President Woodrow Wilson. In became an annual tradition after President Harry Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day.

The Star-Spangled Banner, which is our beloved emblem, flies above all our people irrespective of their creed or race, upholding the American respect for human rights and the protection such rights are afforded under our great democracy.


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