People commemorate Flag Day on June 14 due to the fact that it was on this day in 1777 that the adoption of the American flag by the Second Continental Congress happened. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson gave a proclamation, which set up June 14 as the day that all Americans might honor our flag. The Congress then subsequently established it 33 years later in 1949.

USA FlagThis special day where we honor our flag is neither a federal nor a state holiday except one state, that being Pennsylvania. They started commemorating Flag Day as a state holiday on June 14, 1937. There is a parade in Troy, New York that honors the flag and is the largest Flag Day parade in the country with an usual attendance of 50,000 people. George Morris of Hartford, Connecticut is thought to have actually been the very first to suggest the celebration of a “Flag Day” and even though the tradition did not continue, it was honored for the first time in Hartford in 1861.

In 1885 Cigrand J. Bernard, a teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, was the first to formally celebrate Flag Day in Waubeka at Stony Hill School. From that time on, Cigrand encouraged patriotism, and respect for the flag, and the need to dedicate a special day in its honor all around the country. In June 1886 while attending dentistry school in Chicago, the Chicago Argus newspaper released his first public proposition for the yearly celebration of the birth of the United States Flag in a short article titled “The Fourteenth of June”. Then in 1888, became the editor-in-chief of American Standard, a publication founded by a Chicago group known as “Sons of America”, encouraging reverence for American emblems by authoring articles. His write-ups were not only shared in American Standard, but in several other magazines and newspapers too. And in 1894, over 300,000 school kids in Chicago commemorated Flag Day. Cigrand continued to become the president of the American Flag Day Association and the National Flag Day Society, with the support of these organizations; Cigrand had the chance to deliver over 2,000 speeches about patriotism and the American flag. He later lived in Batavia, Illinois from 1913 until his death on May 16, 1932. Several regard him as the “Father of Flag Day”.

William Kerr of Collier Township, Pennsylvania, who started the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania in 1888 and functioning as its own national chairman for fifty years, attended the signing of the Act of Congress in 1949 by Harry Truman, which formally established the observance of this day. George Boch, a kindergarten principal in New York City, celebrated this day in his school in 1889. Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, the president of the Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania, in 1893 tried a resolution for the establishment of a June 14th Flag Day. All these are but a handful of noteworthy patriots who fought for the national observation of Flag Day.

Each year the president issues a proclamation requesting citizens to fly the American flag. Some towns have parades and events in recognition of this particular day. The National Flag Day Foundation holds a flag raising ceremony, a parade, and other events too on the second Sunday of June.

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