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Flag day got its start as an educational holiday celebrating the birthday of the American flag on June 14, 1777, with some classrooms in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania being the among first to celebrate the holiday in the late 1800’s.
For that reason, the holiday has not gone as mainstream because most places of business are not really crazy about taking another day out for celebration between Memorial day and the fourth of July.
So most celebration of this day occur on the weekend immediately preceding or following, on June 9, 1966, Congress recognized the need for more days since flag day is usually a work day and issued a resolution calling on the President to issue an annual proclamation of the entire week as “National Flag Week” in order to allow more opportunity for the celebration. The day was first nationally proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916. President Obama issued this proclamation on June 11. The proclamation reads in part:
For over 200 years, our flag has proudly represented our Nation and our ideals at home and abroad. It has billowed above monuments and memorials, flown beside the halls of government, stood watch over our oldest institutions, and graced our homes and storefronts. Generations of service members have raised our country’s colors over military bases and at sea, and generations of Americans have lowered them to mourn those we have lost. Though our flag has changed to reflect the growth of our Republic, it will forever remain an emblem of the ideals that inspired our great Nation: liberty, democracy, and the enduring freedom to make of our lives what we will.
As we reflect on our heritage, let us remember that our destiny is stitched together like those 50 stars and 13 stripes. In red, white, and blue, we see the spirit of a Nation, the resilience of our Union, and the promise of a future forged in common purpose and dedication to the principles that have always kept America strong.