Today June 14 is Flag Day, a day of national observance for all Americans, but it is not a federal holiday. Each year, the President proclaims the commemoration and encourages all Americans in the country to display the flag outside their homes and businesses. Usually, during Flag Day, the flag is flown from all public buildings, speeches are made in public places, and ceremonies take place in towns or cities.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson unofficially declared June 14 as Flag Day.
“A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation’s flag, sees not the flag, but the nation itself.”– Henry Ward Beecher.
While many of us learned that Betsy Ross, a seamstress from Philadelphia, was the designer of the flag, this legend has been discredited. According to many sources, President George Washington did visit Betsy in Philadelphia but had brought a flag design with him that contained 13 red and white stripes and 13 six-pointed stars set in a circle.
Accordingly, the only thing Ms. Ross suggested about the flag was to use five-pointed stars (mullets) rather than six-pointed ones (estoiles).
Flag Day Trivia
In honor of Flag Day, here are a few interesting pieces of trivia about our great Red, White, and Blue (Source: USHistory.org):
- When is it appropriate to fly the flag upside down? The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
- Did you know that Francis Scott Key wrote the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the back of an envelope?
- A vexillologist is an expert in the history of flags.
The U.S. Flag Code
Read the rules and etiquette regarding the display of the American flag here. Display the flag on all days, especially on these days:
- New Year’s Day, January 1
- Inauguration Day, January 20
- Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, third Monday in January
- Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12
- Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February
- Easter Sunday (variable)
- Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May
- Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
- Memorial Day (half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset), the last Monday in May
- Flag Day, June 14
- Father’s Day, third Sunday in June
- Independence Day, July 4
- Labor Day, first Monday in September
- Constitution Day, September 17
- Columbus Day, second Monday in October
- Navy Day, October 27
- Veterans Day, November 11
- Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
- Christmas Day, December 25 and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
- The birthdays of States (date of admission)
- State holidays.
I hope you enjoyed this information.
Have a great day!