Isn’t the 4th of July when we celebrate the birth of this great country? Why do we need Flag Day, June 14th, to recognize the flag?
According to USFlag.org, in 1885, a school teacher in Fredonia, Wisconsin, believed the flag was very important to this great nation and wanted to start a special day that recognized just the flag itself.
On the 108th birthday of the adoption of our flag – The Stars and Stripes – BJ Cigrand arranged for the students of District 6 to observe this day at the flag’s birthday.
The tradition started to catch on with other teachers and patriotic societies such as the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and The New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution.
By 1894, the tradition had grown to city-wide celebrations in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, with one account claiming to have over 300,000 children celebrating with flag waving and singing patriotic songs.
President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day official in 1916 but not until an official Act of Congress was passed in 1949 by President Harry Truman did the holiday become officially a federally recognized day of National Flag Day.
Bill Bennett’s book “The American Patriot’s Almanac” details some of the history of The Stars and Stripes and the later versions.
Betsy Ross, a 24-year-old upholsterer, is credited with sewing the first flag, commissioned by George Washington, George Ross and Robert Morris. They visited her shop with a rough sketch and she made a couple of suggestions and then created it. Historians, however, have no actual proof of these events so that story is accepted as a legend for now.
- · The first foreign nation to officially recognize the flag of the United States was France in 1778.
- · In 1803, the French flag was replaced by the American flag when the Louisiana Purchase was completed. It was the 15-stripe version.
- · The 15-stripe version is the one Francis Scott Key saw in the dawn’s early light of 1814 and he wrote a famous song about it.
- · In 1818, Congress decided to start adding stars instead of stripes for each new state and the flag reverted back to 13 stripes.
- · The current version of the flag first flew on July 4, 1960, when the first 50-star flag was raised in Maryland, in honor of Hawaii’s admission into the United States.
To learn more about our country’s great history and inspire patriotism in our kids, please read my new book “How to Raise an American Patriot, Making it Okay for Our Kids to Be Proud to Be American.” It features 13 patriots, including Ed Meese, Erick Erickson, Hillsdale College’s Dr. Larry Arnn and Jackie Gingrich Cushman, giving tips on how to inspire patriotism in our kids.
Please check out www.raisinganamericanpatriot.com for more information. The first 100 people to order get one free copy of the Constitution from Hillsdale College.