Happy Flag Day! June 14 is when patriotic Americans across the land celebrate the Red, White and Blue. Yet, if you’re asking ‘what is Flag Day,’ then find out all the facts about this important American holiday.
1. Flag Day celebrates the day the U.S. adopted the Stars and Bars. It took nearly a year for the United States to adopt the flag that would become synonymous with America and everything it stands for. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the First Flag Act. This important piece of legislation declared that the first official American glad would have “13 stripes alternative red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, representing a new constellation,” according to Fox News. Thus, the flag that would become known across the world was born.
2. It didn’t become an official holiday until more than a 100 years later. Though the citizens of the United States have celebrated the flag – in all its changes – it didn’t become an official national holiday until a 1949 Act of Congress, according to Heavy.com. Yet, before it was an official holiday, certain states and politicians celebrated Flag Day. President Woodrow Wilson first recognized the holiday in 1914. “I therefore suggest and request that throughout the nation and if possible in every community the fourteenth day of June be observed as Flag Day with special patriotic exercises,” he wrote in 1916.
3. It’s not a federal holiday. Unlike other patriotic holidays, like Independence Day and Memorial Day, Flag Day is not a federal holiday. So, everything should be open. Yet, New York and Pennsylvania observe Flag Day as a state holiday, so patriotic Americans in those states should check with their local state facilities (courts, etc.) to see if they’re open.
4. It’s a low-key holiday. It seems that Flag Day is meant for thoughtful observance about the significance of the American flag. While some places in the United States hold Flag Day parades, it’s not a huge extravaganza like what you’d expect for Independence Day, Memorial Day or Labor Day. The best way to observe the holiday is to hang the flag in a respectful way before lowering it at sundown (however, etiquette decrees that you can hang the flag for 24 hours if it’s properly illuminated during the night.)
5. Betsy Ross didn’t design the first American flag. The legend is that Betsy Ross created the American flag after George Washington gave her a sketch of what he wanted. Betsy’s grandson, William J. Canby, claimed in 1876 that his grandmother made the first American flag in a paper for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and suddenly, she was being credited with the flag’s creation. However, it was Francis Hopkinson, the chairman of the Continental Navy Board’s Middle Department, who created the flag, according to the historically persevered bills he sent to Congress for his work. Now you know!
Are you excited to celebrate Flag Day, HollywoodLifers? What are you going to do to honor the United States’ red, white and blue?