On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act:
“Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
The idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885 by a school teacher in Wisconsin as “Flag Birthday.” The anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916.
While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day. The day commemorates the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States.
According to American legend, in June 1776, George Washington commissioned Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, to create a flag for the new nation in anticipation of a declaration of its independence. There have been twenty-seven official versions of the flag so far; stars have been added to it as states have entered the Union. The current version dates to July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state.
Many Americans sing, pledge, and pay respect to the flag, “Old Glory,” as a symbol of the country’s democracy and independence. Saluting the flag is a way to celebrate and honor the United States of America and despite some in America who trample and burn “Old Glory” for no other reason than to be destructive, there are many more who honor and cherish our beloved Flag and all that it stands for: To live in the land of the free and home of the brave. So on this Flag Day, show your respect for the Stars and Stripes by flying your American Flags proudly!