Flag Day is observed each year on June 14th, when cities across America hold ceremonies to honor this treasured national symbol and to celebrate the independence that it represents. Formalities often include the raising of the flag, a rendition of the National Anthem, and a reading of the Pledge of Allegiance and Presidential Proclamation, followed by a benediction and Taps.
The first unofficial Flag Day took place on June 14, 1885, when a 19-year-old teacher, Bernard J. Cigrand, put a 10-inch, 38-star flag on his desk in front of the classroom. He then asked his students to write essays on why the flag holds so much meaning for the United States. Cigrand’s modest tribute to the flag in a simple school setting motivated him to campaign for a nationwide celebration of our country’s flag. Several decades later in 1916, President Wilson declared a national commemoration of Flag Day, a true triumph for the 50-year-old Cigrand who had selflessly dedicated years of his life to the veneration of the flag. Not until 1949, under the Truman Administration, was Flag Day actually designated as an annual holiday on the 14th of June.