Happy Flag Day! Here’s a History of the Holiday

Flag Day History

We can all brush up on the history of Flag Day.

The American Flag; an indelible, deeply ingrained symbol of freedom to every citizen of our nation. However you feel about the current state of American politics, we hope that we hold reverence for our flag. Good news flag lovers; today’s Flag Day!

To a foreigner, it might seem a little crazy to have a day that specifically celebrates our flag, but this is the United States of America, why not celebrate that famous star spangled banner?

Flag Day is believed to have originated from a Wisconsin schoolteacher named BJ Cigrand in 1885. The idea spread to New York schools by 1889 and on May 30th, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson observed the day. It wasn’t until August 3rd, 1949, however, that President Harry S. Truman signed an Act of Congress officially designating June 14th as Flag Day.

Why June 14th? The date honors the adoption of the flag back on June 14th, 1777, when a resolution of the Second Continental Congress made it the official symbol of our country.

There are certain protocols that must be followed when displaying our flag.  Here are some facts to remind us of how we should honor our flag on this day.

Care and handling of the American flag is steeped in tradition and respect. There is a right way and a wrong way to display the flag. This is called Flag Etiquette. The American flag should be held in the highest of regards. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag. Here are the basics on displaying the American flag:

  • The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
  • The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
  • The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
  • After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half-staff for 30 days. It’s called “half-staff” on land and “half-mast” on a ship.
  • When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field or “union” is at the top and at the end of the pole (away from your dwelling).
  • The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
  • The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
  • Never let your flag touch the ground, never, ever.
  • Fold your flag when storing. Don’t just stuff it in a drawer or box.
  •  When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.

There is a very special ceremony for retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see.  Our local Boy Scout group knows the proper ceremony and performs it on a regular basis. If you have an old flag, may we suggest that you give it to them.  And, attend the ceremony.

Happy Flag Day from The Maria Sanchez Show! We’ll be talking about our nation and its current state on Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT. Tune in!

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