Flag Day celebrated on June 14

Our country has many holidays and traditions, most are well known. Others, such as Flag Day, often slip through the cracks for various reasons, including not knowing the history behind the tradition.

The Daily News took to the streets to ask people what they know about Flag Day, which is celebrated on June 14. Of all the people surveyed, none were aware that Flag Day was an actual holiday.

“I have no idea, sorry,” said one anonymous person in an apologetic tone.

When asked if they knew there was a Flag Day, another responded with “I honestly had no clue.”

Flag Day is a celebration of just that — the American flag.

According to usflag.org, the idea of celebrating the American flag came in 1885 when a Wisconsin school teacher, by the name of Bernard J. Cigrand, designated June 14 as the “Flag Birthday.”

The date was based on the fact that on June 14, 1777, in the city of Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress formally adopted the Stars and Stripes as the flag of our country.

At that time, the flag has 13 stars, each representing one of the 13 original colonies. The stars, on a background of blue, were representative of a new constellation. The stripes of red, white and blue also represented the 13 original states.

The colors of the flag actually did not have any particular meaning behind them when the flag was first adopted. It wasn’t until the Great Seal was adopted in 1782 that the colors were officially assigned meaning.

The red represents hardiness and valor. The blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice, and the white represents purity and innocence. Some historians believe that the colors were originally taken from the Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain.

Of the five people surveyed, only one knew that the stripes represented the 13 colonies. Two people believed the red and white represented the blood and bandages of the soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War.

One responded with “I can’t remember, but I used to know.”

In August of 1949, President Harry Truman and Congress officially sanctioned June 14 as National Flag Day. This year, the week of June 10 is designated National Flag Week. You can expect a proclamation to come out of the White House urging all of our citizens to fly the flag proudly during this week.