Do You Know the History of Flag Day?

Phyllis Lifestyle 10 Comments

Flag Day is tomorrow! But do you know the history behind it? I love reading stories where the actions of one person made a national difference over a span of years. I also want to note that this one person did not see his efforts come to full fruition, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth doing. Flag Day celebrations date back to 1885, but the official holiday was not declared until 1949.  Sometimes we do not see the final outcome of seeds that we plant, but we can find joy knowing that a later generation will reap the rewards.

A timeline of the history of Flag Day:

1885—A schoolteacher in Fredonia, Wisconsin, named B. J. CiGrand arranged for his students to observe the 108th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. They called this “Flag Birthday.” CiGrand continued to advocate this observance in newspaper and magazine articles over the next few years.

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.

1891—The Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration.

1893—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 14. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as “Flag Day,” and on that day, schoolchildren be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small flag.

1894—The American Flag Day Association was established for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. The governor of New York authorized that on June 14 the flag be displayed on all public buildings.

1916—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 30!

1949—It was not until August 3 of this year that President Truman signed an act of Congress defining June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.

*information from

The image below is from our Classic Cottages book and is one of my favorites. The way that the Flag stands out against the classic white exterior is just gorgeous!

classic white exterior

Happy (almost) Flag Day! Do you have any fun weekend plans?

Comments 10

  1. The Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks instituted Flag day services in the early part of the 20th Century as many Elks were Veterans. President Harry S. Truman was himself an Elk.
    Many Elks lodges host Flag Day celebrations. Our local Lodge has an impressive ceremony every year which we have been privileged to attend. It cites the history and evolution of our Flag. Our local Boy & Girl Scouts are invited to be involved as are our Coast Guard. It is a solemn service and in our area, for many, a tourist destination, it is a wonderful, Patriotic way for Summer to begin!

  2. Thank you for sharing the history of flag day! I love white houses with the Stars and Stripes!
    Have a lovely weekend!

  3. Great history lesson! Thank you.
    Years ago I read about another Flag Day-related tradition I try to implement each year: Fly the flag from Flag Day onward — July 4th, is in 3 weeks! In addition, hanging patriotic bunting, starting at Memorial Day, inspires extra enthusiasm and patriotic gestures throughout our neighborhood. Our town is near a Marine Corps base and strongly supports the service members and their families with benevolence fundraisers and social events . Many retired Marines locally have installed flag poles in their front yards and fly the flag every day, a reminder to us all.

  4. Phyllis, thanks so much for sharing this interesting information! My sweet Italian grandfather was so extremely proud of this wonderful American Flag and instilled that pride in his entire family here in the USA and back home in Italy. Now I’ll be sharing some of the Flag Day history with my grandkids. By the way, your French Butter Cookie recipe was a huge hit!!! I’ve also rolled them in a log, froze them and then sliced and baked! Great to have in the freezer when you’re in a pinch! Love that gorgeous house too!!! Your publications are absolutely magnificent!!!
    Happy Father’s Day to you all!!!

  5. Thanks for sharing our Flag Day history, I fondly remember Flag Day celebrations and parades in elementary school as a child. We were always so proud to receive and carry a small flag throughout the parade and display it at our home. Just put flags on my porch window boxes yesterday to prepare for the day! Our country has truly been blessed though out history.

    Also, I love the cottage in your post…so pretty!

  6. So pretty – the beautiful porch!
    I was reading a flag etiquette article from the Old farmer’s Almanac, and I was surprised to read that it is considered an appropriate flag day on every holiday on the calendar!

  7. Our son just painted our home classic white with Black shutters and screens. We have a flag off the front and back porch. Also, we named our home “Camellia Cottage” because we have 20 Camellia Plants of all colors.
    Happy Flag Day everyone.

  8. Thank you for this wonderful history lesson! I appreciate the research that has been accomplished in order for us to get “the whole story.”

  9. My family always arranged an easy way to fly the flag on all patriotic occasions. My older brothers painted our 10 foot flag pole and “raised” the flag to the stirring music of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. Now years later, following our recent move , my dear husband made certain that the flag was flying at the front porch of our new home. It flies 24/7 as we have porch lights that come on automatically each evening. Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue!

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