The day to commemorate the birth of the American flag is June 14. The American flag is turning 238 years old. Flag Day is the unofficial holiday for Americans to wave Old Glory high and proud.
The flag is a very important symbol for Americans. A historian, Marc Leepson mentioned that no one else compares to United States when it comes to national flag pride. It represents much more than just the 13 original colonies and 50 states. It is a reminder of the sacrifices that were made to build the nation. It represents the blood that was shed. It stands for freedom and equality. Many Americans hold the flag to a very high regard.
Flag Day is a celebration of the day when the Continental Congress had come to the conclusion on how the American flag would look. It started off with 13 stripes and flags to symbolize the original colonies. Whenever a new state was admitted to the nation, a stripe was added to the flag. It soon went back to being 13 stripes and the stars were used to recognize states. 1960 was the year when the 50th state was admitted to the United States along with a new star placed on the flag. Old Glory continues to wave 50 stars as it is turning 238.
The holiday was not really recognized up until the late 1800s when citizens began trying to push it to be widely accepted. It was not until May 30, 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson had recognized Flag Day and then President Truman signed it officially as a nationally recognized day. The bad news is that work will not be canceled (unless it falls on a weekend) nor will there be a three-day weekend. Why is that? Flag Day was not chosen for the 1968 Uniform Holiday Act. It is not as widely recognized as the other holidays nor does it have the same support Labor Day has.
Among all the other days when the flag is raised, veterans encourage people to practice proper etiquette for the national symbol. They were the people who sacrificed their lives in order to ensure that the flag can still wave high and mighty. They believed with all their soul everything the stars and stripes represented. John Foss is a veteran who shared a few tips for Flag Day or every day really – Old Glory is not something to be ashamed of. He mentions that if a flag is going to be left overnight, it should have a light illuminating it all times. If there is no light, then the flag should be taken down immediately. Any flags that are worn down or torn should be folded nicely and placed into a Flag Drop.
June 14 also ignites the beginning of National Flag Week. This week should be taken with respect to being thankful for veterans who have risked their life to keep America the way it is. June 14 is the day to honor the nation’s history and understand the struggle that had to be overcome in order to create the country the way it is now. It certainly is not perfect, but it is still the land of opportunity and Flag Day recognizes the beacon of freedom that Old Glory, as it is turning 238, continues to be.
Opinion By Frank Grados
Christian Science Monitor – Why isn’t Flag Day a federal holiday?
KY3 – Flag Day honors 238 years of the American ‘Stars and Stripes’
Southold Local – Display your colors: Celebrate National Flag Day and Flag Week
Photo Courtesy of From Sovereign to Serf – Roger Sayles’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License