Tuesday, June 14, 2011

flag day

Today, June 14, is "Flag Day" (it comes around every year).
"Flag Day" commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14th, 1777 by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Now, for 108 years after that resolution, nobody really gave a rat's ass for June 14th.
But long about 1885 B.J. Cigrand, a Wisconsin public school-teacher, arranged for his pupils to observe June 14th as
"Flag Birthday"
He promoted it in the media of the time as best he could and 4 years later (1889), another school-teacher, George Balch, in New York City planned ceremonies for the children of his school and soon the celebration of "Flag Day" was adopted by New York's Board of Education.

In 1891, the Betsy Ross House (in Philadelphia) held it's first "Flag Day" celebration and the next year, the "New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution" and the "Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames" (what a great name) celebrated
it too.
The concept of "Flag Day" was catching fire at the
grassroots level.

In 1914, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Franklin Lane, delivered a Flag Day address in which he repeated words, he said, the flag had spoken to him that morning. . .
"I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself."
(really, I'm not making this up!)

Finally, inspired by three decades of state and local celebrations, "Flag Day" was officially established by the proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as "National Flag Day".

No comments: