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What is Flag Day and Why People Celebrate It?

June 14, 2017

What is Flag Day and Why People Celebrate It?

This holiday is connected to the historical event, which is the Declaration of Independence of the US from Great Britain. As a result of this separation, there was an order to create a new flag that would represent a new country. These events led to the fact that on the 14th of June, 1777, the Flag Act was issued by the Second Continental Congress.

According to the Act, the newly established flag of the United States was made of thirteen stripes in red and while colors and thirteen white stars on a blue field.

Actually, it became the first version of the modern flag of the US, known as “Stars and Stripes.”

However, Flag Day actually became a holiday not long ago. The first reference to this day as a holiday was in Kansas. The abstract from the Cyclopedia of State History tells about George Morris of Hartford, which was actually the first man who offered to celebrate Flag Day.

The holiday was a commemoration of June 14th, when the new flag was created. The celebration took place in 1861. In included a patriotic program, which was aimed at supporting the Federal army, praying for its success, as well as calling for preservation of the Union.

However, even though George Morris is known as a first man who offered a celebration of this day, the name of Bernard J. Cigrand is mostly connected to Flag Day. He is supposed to be a “Father of Flag Day” and a person who made it a common tradition to celebrate the holiday.

He managed to organize the first formal observance of the day while working as a school teacher in Wisconsin. The celebration took place in 1885 at Stony High School. It became a starting point for his journey around the country promoting patriotism, as well as honorable treatment and limitless respect for the national flag. Moreover, Cigrand was the first man who offered to make June 14th a day of the national flag observance. He publicly offered to celebrate Flag Day in 1866. At that time he lived in Chicago, where he wrote an article The Fourteenth of June, which was published in a local newspaper.  

Nevertheless, the man did not stop on that. For example, in 1888 he advocated for the holiday before the “Sons of America.” As a result, the magazine The American Standard was founded with the aim of promoting national emblems and Cigrand became its chief editor.

Formally, the beginning of Flag Day celebration is connected to the event that took place in 1894. On that day, almost 300.000 children took place in celebration of the holiday in Chicago. The successful celebration became a reason of its repetition next year.

Later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution to celebrate the anniversary of the Flag creation. After that event, Flag Day was widely celebrated in different communities. However, only in 1949, after  President Truman signed the Act of the Congress, June 14 became a national holiday, known as National Flag Day.

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