In Honor of our
Flag on Flag Day - June 14, 2005
History of our Flag
The Fourth of July was
traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual
day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated
in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the
Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th
anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag
Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses
over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the
observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.
On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City,
planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea
of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of
New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag
Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society
of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.
Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian
of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania
Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution
requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all
private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to
recommend that thereafter the day be known as 'Flag Day', and on that day,
school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child
being given a small Flag.
Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania
Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the
Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr.
Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia,
directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence
Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and
patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.
In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be
displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the
moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day
Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag
Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association,
the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in
Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington
Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.
Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary
if the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated
words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: "I am what you make
me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a
symbol of yourself."
Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day -
the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established
by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While
Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's
proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman
signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National
I AM THE FLAG
I am the flag of the United States of America.
I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia.
There the Continental Congress adopted my stars and stripes as the national
My thirteen stripes alternating red and white, with a union of thirteen
white stars in a field of blue, represented a new constellation, a new
nation dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of mankind.
Today fifty stars signal from my union, one for each of the fifty sovereign
states in the greatest constitutional republic the world has ever known.
My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of the
citizens of my country.
My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men
and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers and
My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all.
My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.
I represent these eternal principles: liberty, justice, and humanity.
I embody American freedom: freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press,
and the sanctity of the home.
I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to my land by
Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers - the Pilgrims, Puritans,
settlers at James town and Plymouth.
I am as old as my nation.
I am a living symbol of my nation's law: the Constitution of the United
States and the Bill of Rights.
I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy: "A government of the people, by the
people,for the people."
I stand guard over my nation's schools, the seedbed of good citizenship and
I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my nation; every schoolyard
has a flag pole for my display.
Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge their allegiance to
me and my country.
I have my own law—Public Law 829, "The Flag Code" - which definitely states
my correct use and display for all occasions and situations.
I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set aside to honor my birth.
Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your
birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow.
I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in trust
If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if I am nullified and
destroyed, you and your children will become slaves to dictators and
Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.
As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country, remind
yourself that I am the flag of your country, that I stand for what you are -
no more, no less.
Guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the earth.
Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: "One nation under
God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a battle for human
God grant that I may spend eternity in my "land of the free and the home of
the brave" and that I shall ever be known as "Old Glory," the flag of the
United States of America.
Information on the Official Title 4 Flag, please go to: