Fun Facts Flag Day

Fun Facts Flag Day
Have you checked your calendar lately? Flag Day is almost upon us! Unless you keep track of public holidays, you may not have even thought about Flag Day yet this year. Flag Day seems like Independence Day's less exciting little brother, and it one of the least-observed official holidays in the United States. But that doesn't mean you have to wait until July 4th to buy a flag from a good American flag company and get into a patriotic mood! Here are some fun facts about Flag Day, as well as some celebration ideas.

Flag Day isn't a federal holiday, but it's still an important commemorative day in the United States. It memorializes the day that the United States flag was officially adopted. The Second Continental Congress accepted the Stars and Stripes on June 14, 1777, just a couple weeks before America's second birthday.

Although the flag was officially accepted in 1777, it wasn't until 1946 that Congress instituted National Flag Day as a holiday. Although you won't get a paid day off (sorry), this holiday is still widely celebrated throughout the United States. If the incumbent president wishes, he can issue a proclamation asking Americans to fly the flag outside of their homes on Flag Day.

Fun Facts
Some states celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday. Pennsylvania, ever patriotic, was the first to make June 14 an official state holiday. Although it's too late in the summer for students to get a day off school, some Pennsylvanians get the day off from work!

The American Flag has changed quite a bit since it was adopted. The original 1777 flag had only 13 stars, one for each of the original colonies, which were the only states that existed at the time. By 1946, Old Glory had a lot more stars, but it still wasn't quite the same flag we fly today. Alaska and Hawaii did not become states until 1959, so the flag only had 48 stars when Flag Day was first officially observed.

Although Flag Day did not become an officially obseved holiday until 1946, recognition for the day existed as early as the turn of the century. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day.

After the proclamation of Flag Day in 1916, many communities began Flag Day traditions. Many of these are still going on today! Although there's some debate as to which is the original Flag Day celebration, you can find some of the longest-running festivals in Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

June 14 isn't just Flag Day… it's also the birthday of the United States Army! You can be doubly patriotic by commemorating both events this year.

How to Celebrate Flag Day
Flag Day doesn't have as many traditions and celebrations as other United States holidays, but it's easy to engage in some of the most common traditions of the day. Whether or not the President issues a Flag Day proclamation asking citizens to hang Old Glory, you can commemorate the flag's anniversary by displaying the American Flag in your front yard.

Be sure to hang the flag correctly and respectfully. Public Law 94-344 had specific guidelines regarding flag display, so you can refer to this if you're not sure how to do it properly. Although this might sound intimidating, the flag display rules are quite straightforward, for the most part.

Basically, you should ensure that the flag is well cared-for and displayed with honor. The American Flag should only be displayed during daylight hours, unless it is well-lit during the night. It should never touch the ground, and it must not be left outside during potentially damaging weather conditions, unless it is an all-weather flag and can survive snow and rain.

Hanging a flag outside your home is the simplest way to celebrate Flag Day, but you can do more, if you wish! Some communities have Flag Day celebrations. To find out if anything is happening in your town, you can visit your town's official website, where community events should be listed.

There are a handful of big Flag Day celebrations across the country. One of the oldest Flag Day parades is in Quincy, Massachusetts. The parade is held on the Saturday closest to June 14. If you want to attend the original Flag Day parade, you can find the longest-running event in Appleton, Wisconsin!  If you live in Michigan, you can head to Three Oaks, which is near Grand Rapids. This town claims to have the biggest Flag Day bash in the country. New York may have more Flag Day celebrations than any other state. Travel to Burnt Hills, Troy, or Hudson for all-American parades. If you live on the West Coast, you best bet is to visit La Mesa California for a parade and concert, West-Coast style. You can also often find Flag Day celebrations in big cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City.

If there are no Flag Day celebrations near you, why not start your own Flag Day traditions? You can celebrate as a family by wearing patriotic colors and baking red, white, and blue desserts, or have an All-American party with your friends and neighbors.

Although Flag Day is not a widely-celebrated holiday, observing this day is an excellent way for you to show your patriotism and honor your country. Whether you want to hang an American Flag in your yard, travel to a Flag Day parade, or throw your own party, there are many ways to observe this day! What will you do this year?

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