politics

Flag Day: America's other patriotic holiday

By Brenna Williams

Published June 14, 2018

In case you forgot, it is Flag Day.

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New York and Pennsylvania were some of the early states to recognize Flag Day celebrations, and private citizens lobbied for a national observance. The "first unofficial national Flag Day" occurred on June 14, 1877.

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Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge issued proclamations asking for the observance of Flag Day nationally. Congress approved it in 1949. President Harry S. Truman signed it into law.

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It was on June 14, 1777, that the Flag Resolution stated: "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."

Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The 13-star flag became associated with Betsy Ross, a rendering of whom you can see above with George Washington. It should be noted that there's no definitive evidence to show that Ross did in fact create the first iteration of Old Glory

Library of Congress

As the country grew, so did the number of stars on the field of blue, which required subsequent flag acts.

In 1912, President Taft signed an act dictating the stars' pattern, with President Eisenhower tweaking the arrangement to provide for the addition of Hawaii and Alaska to the United States.