20 Fun Facts about Flag Day
Happy Flag Day! We’re now into our ninth decade of marking this important observance. To celebrate here are some fun facts about Flag Day.
- The US flag was adopted on June 14, 1777.
- Although legend says that Betsy Ross designed the flag, not all scholars are convinced, according to the Library of Congress.
- Flag Day is also the birthday of the US Army, founded in 1775.
- The first unofficial Flag Day took place in 1861 in Hartford, Connecticut on the suggestion of George Morris, but the observance didn’t take hold.
- The first recognized Flag Day observance was held by Bernard J. Cigrand in Waubeka, Wisconsin in 1885.
- The American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania was founded in 1888.
- President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day in 1916.
- Thirty-three years later, an Act of Congress established National Flag Day.
- Pennsylvania is the only state to have Flag Day as a state holiday.
- The oldest continuous Flag Day parade has been held in Fairfield, Washington since 1909 or 1910. The only year it didn’t take place was 1918.
- Troy, New York has the country’s largest Flag Day parade – about 50,000 people usually turn out to watch it.
- The week of June 14 is National Flag Week. During this time the flag should be on show on all government buildings. By presidential proclamation all US citizens are urged to display the flag this week.
- There’s an app for that – The American Flag app on iTunes tells the history of the US Flag.
- The US were the first to use five pointed stars o a flag, according to a USA Today article, which includes an exploration of US flags through the ages.
- The original American flag had 13 stars; there have been 27 additions between 1777 and 1960.
- In 1912, President Taft standardized the arrangement of stars into six rows of eight (there were only 48 states then).
- The 50 star flag was first flown in 1959; it became official in 1960.
- A 51-star flag already exists and is popular with those in favor of Puerto Rico becoming a state.
- Designs also exist for flags with up to 56 stars (source) .
- The Star Spangled Banner lyrics come from the Francis Scott Key’s Defence of Fort McHenry Poem, inspired by the 15 star, 15 stripe flag.
Want to see how the flag looked at different times? Check out the video below:
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