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Flag day: What is it and why do we celebrate it?

Watch out for the red, white and blue next week as the United States celebrates Flag day. Here is what you need to know about the special occasion, a tribute to the Stars and Stripes on June 14.

Why is Flag day celebrated?

Flag day honors a June 14, 1777, resolution of the Second Continental Congress, which called for an official United States flag.

The resolution called on the flag as “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, which a new constellation.”

What is the history behind Flag day?

A number of figures in the 1800s were behind the efforts to the importance of the flag.

Hartford, Conn., resident George Morris in 1861, it received its city “to take a patriotic party on behalf of the Union,” Philly.com reported in 2008, who said that the idea failed to become popular.

Flag day was unofficially observed 16 years later, on June 14, 1877, the Department of Defense blog DoD Live said in 2015. The flag waved in the rural of public buildings for the occasion, a report from 2011 said.

One of the more well-known figures was Wisconsin teacher Bernard Cigrand. In 1885 he received a flag in an inkwell and made his students write essays about the flag, the National Flag day Foundation, says online. Cigrand would spend decades a champion of the flag, and was even the editor-in-chief of a magazine dedicated to the American emblems, according to the foundation.

William Kerr founded the American Flag Day Foundation of Western Pennsylvania in 1888, TribLive.com reported in 2012. Kerr reportedly met nine presidents and contacted many politicians about the 67 years he spent looking for an official day for the flag.

“He was a strong personality, a force of will,” his grandson Thomas Kerr told the newspaper the time. “He had no secretary. He did it all by himself.”

There were also other efforts. In 1889, George Bolch, a New York City principal, his school, the events in the compliance and in 1893, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie, the president of the Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania, fought for the Philadelphia public buildings, flags, according to Philly.com.

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When was a proclamation for the day of the Flag Day issued?

May 30, 1916. “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,” President Woodrow Wilson wrote. Wilson was stirred by a conversation with Kerr, according to TribLive.

President Harry Truman later signed the Flag day of the ongoing compliance in the law in 1949, according to publications.usa.gov.

Is Flag day a federal holiday?

No. However, Flag day is a state holiday in New York and Pennsylvania.

What are the day of the Flag Day traditions?

Some places in the United States hold Flag Day parades. Presidents have also issued statements to the National Flag Week. The former President Obama 2016 proclamation, both the federal government buildings and all Americans to display the flag.

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