U.S. Flag Day
Flag Day in the United States is celebrated on June 14th each year. Although not a national holiday, it is a day that celebrated the US flag as a symbol of our country. National Flag Day, as it is formally known, is celebrated on June 14th each year because that is the day, in 1777, when the Stars and Stripes was adopted as the National Flag by the Continental Congress. As Congress wrote, "White signifies Purity and Innocence; Red, Hardiness and Valor; Blue signifies Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice."
Flag Day was not formally inaugurated until 1916, when Woodrow Wilson formally issued a proclamation denoting June 14th as Flag Day and thereafter in 1948, Flag Day was adopted by an Act of Congress after the flag became an even more powerful symbol during World War II.
Flag Day is not a federal holiday, but it observed in a number of cities and towns. The state of Pennsylvania, for instance, has declared it a state holiday and many cities and towns hold Flag Day parades to honor the U.S. flag and its importance as a symbol of our country.
It is believed that the local town, city and state celebrations of Flag Day are actually what prompted Woodrow Wilson to proclaim it a nationally recognized holiday. There are various account and figures in history who want to take credit for sparking the onset of Flag Day. According to George W. Bush’s Flag Day Proclamation in 2001, the credit goes to a school teacher named B.J. Cigrand. Cigrand, a Wisconsin native, wanted to encourage his students to celebrate the U.S. Flag and its importance to our country by celebrating the day of its adoption. Eventually, a grass roots effort to celebrate the flag grew from his first celebration in 1885, on the 108th birthday of the Stars and Stripes to the ultimate proclamation of the holiday by Wilson in 1916.
Alternately, credit is sometimes given to William T. Kerr whose activism prompted the founding of the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania in 1888. He ultimately served as the national chairman of the organization for fifty years and was invited to see President Harry Truman’s signing of the Act of Congress that made Flag Day a national holiday.