Do you know why we celebrate Flag Day on June 14th every year?
Flag Day is June 14th every year and is the official birthday of our United States of America flag. Every year on June 14th we need to proudly display this symbol of our durable freedoms granted by our U.S. Constitution.
On June 14, 1777, our Continental Congress passed a resolution that officially designated our uniquely designed Stars and Stripes flag as the one and the only official United States flag. This uniquely designed flag containing 13 stripes alternating in red and white, and a field of blue displaying 13 white stars each representing the official union of the 13 original states. This year is the 240th year since the adoption of our flag. The current U.S. flag now has 50 stars, 1 for each of the States in the Union.
Francis Scott Key penned the words for the “Star-Spangled Banner”, our national anthem while observing that our flag still flew proudly and freely as the British attempted to overtake Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
The National Flag Day Foundation was started by B.J. Cigrand, a Wisconsin man, to promote the honoring of our beloved Stars and Stripes flag. There have been several stories and flag honoring celebrations over the years but every June 14th is still the flag’s official birthday.
It is important to know the proper way to show respect, care and handling for the flag, which is a symbol of our sovereignty and liberty.
Proper handling, care, and display of the U.S. Flag per the USA.Gov guide
- When: You can display the flag outside from sunrise to sunset. If you want to fly it after dark, it will need to be lit. Don’t fly the flag during inclement weather, unless it’s an all-weather flag.
- On the porch: The union of the flag–the blue section with white stars–should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended from a rope on a pole extending from a house, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
- On the wall or the window: When the flag is displayed on a flat surface like a wall, the union should be at the top left.
- On the street: The flag should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, so make sure it’s hung at the proper height.
- At the office: Suspend the flag vertically with the union to the observer’s left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north when entrances are to the east and west, or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.
- On a vehicle: The staff should be fixed firmly on the right side of the vehicle. Do not drape the flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or a boat.
- Half-staff: During periods of mourning, it is common to see the flag flying at half-staff. Only presidents can proclaim such periods for a national remembrance (PDF, Download Adobe Reader). Governors can also declare mourning periods at a local level. In some cases, heads of federal agencies can order the flag flown at half-staff on grounds under their supervision. Traditionally, states and local governments follow the president’s proclamation during a period of national mourning.
How to Care for your flag
- Take care of your flag. Many dry cleaners will clean U.S. flags for free during the months of June and July. Store your flag in a well-ventilated area. If it gets wet, make sure it’s completely dry before storing it. If the flag is damaged or worn out, it should be burned and disposed of with dignity. Learn more about the flag, its history, protocol, and ways to pay your respects, including the proper way to fold it.
We should never forget what our flag has represented over our country’s history. Be proud to be American and all that represents. We will only remain free when we respect our history, our flag, and our Constitution.