The American flag is one of the most recognized symbols of the world. Americans have historically held a great deal of affection for the flag. One such example of the this affection is demonstrated when Flag Day was conceived by George Balch, a New York City kindergarten teacher. Balch had planned an idea of observing Flag Day with appropriate activities and ceremonies for the children of his school on June 14, 1889. Later, Balch’s idea was adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. Additional Flag Day celebrations followed including one two years later on June 14, 1891 when the Betsy Ross House held a celebration in Philadelphia and on June 14,1892 when the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution celebrated Flag Day.
Following these three celebrations, the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America adopted a resolution requesting that the Mayor of Philadelphia issue a proclamation asking all citizens to display the U. S. Flag on June 14th and that the day be officially known as Flag Day. Two weeks after the request was made by the Society of Colonial Dames, the Board of Managers Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously voted to endorse the action. The efforts of these two organizations resulted in a public Flag Day exercise being held in Independence Square. School children carried flags and sang patriotic songs with political and nationalist addresses being delivered by community leaders.
Local and state celebrations in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York continued for thirty years before the Flag Day holiday became recognized at the Federal level as a result of President Woodrow Wilson signing a proclamation that recognized the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777. Flag Day became a national holiday on August 3, 1949 when President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating that June 14th of each year would be known as National Flag Day.
With Flag Day in the early summer month of June, it is a great time for a barbeque party or family get together. Activities can include crafting patriotic decorations that can be displayed until after Independence Day.
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