On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag for the new nation. The resolution stated: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." On Aug. 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman officially declared June 14 as Flag Day.
The history of our flag is as fascinating as that of the American Republic itself. It has survived battles, inspired songs and evolved in response to the growth of the country it represents.
- Flag Day occurs on June 14th every year, but it is not an official federal holiday.
Even though it is not a federal holiday, many cities and towns hold festivals and parades to honor the American Flag.
- Flag Day was originally the celebration of the adoption of United States Flag.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson is recorded as officially setting June 14, as Flag Day. Even with Wilson’s act, on a federal level the holiday was not passed by Congress.
- Flag Day honors the American Flag and all its traditions. Historically, the story that Betsy Ross created the first flag has been passed down through the generations. However, it is actually believed that a United States Congressman named Francis Hopkinson created the first flag.
The design of the American Flag was not made official until 1912. At that time, a governmental order adopted the current design.
- The nickname for the American Flag is the “Stars and Stripes.”
- The thirteen stripes on the flag represent the thirteen original colonies and the colors of the stripes, red and white, stand for the courage and purity of our nation. The stars stand for the fifty separate but united States of our nation.
- Over the past years the flag has changed 27 times. The last change was on July 4, 1960 to include the 50th state, Hawaii.
- There are many customs and traditions surrounding the American Flag. Flag Day is a day set aside to teach and remember the history and these customs and traditions.