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History of Flag Day

american-flag-1208660_1920June 14 of every year is marked as Flag Day. The first known celebration of Flag Day in the United States was on June 14, 1885, at Stony Hill School located near Waubeka, Wisconsin. The 19 year old teacher, Bernard J. Cigrand, placed a 10 inch, 38 star flag on his desk and assigned the students to write essays on the significance of the American flag.

The essay was assigned to commemorate the Congressional adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. The observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s efforts to bring about national recognition of Flag Day. He was described as being a devote patriot, with great love for his country and the flag.

Throughout his adult life, he wrote many newspaper and magazine articles on the importance of the flag and was an advocate for formally honoring the flag every year. Cigrand’s efforts to bring attention to the importance of the flag were recognized on May 30, 1916, when President Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed an Act of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day.

This year as we celebrate Flag Day, remember the name Bernard J. Cigrand and be thankful for his lifelong dedication to educating the citizens of the United States of America on the importance of the our flag.