In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14th in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1, § 110 is the official statute on Flag Day; however, it is at the President’s discretion to officially proclaim the observance. On June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdale. New York Statutes designate the second Sunday in June as Flag Day, a state holiday.
Perhaps the oldest continuing Flag Day parade is in Fairfield, Washington. Beginning in 1909 or 1910, Fairfield has held a parade every year since, with the possible exception of 1918, and celebrated the “Centennial” parade in 2010, along with some other commemorative events.
Appleton, Wisconsin claims to be the oldest National Flag Day parade in the nation, held annually since 1950.It was also named “Most Patriotic City in America” by AmericaTheBeautiful.com in 2008.
Quincy, Massachusetts has had an annual Flag Day parade since 1952 and claims it “is the longest-running parade of its kind in the nation.” The largest Flag Day parade is held annually in Troy, New York, which bases its parade on the Quincy parade and typically draws 50,000 spectators. In addition, the Three Oaks, Michigan Flag Day Parade is held annually on the weekend of Flag Day and is a three-day event and they claim to have the largest flag day parade in the nation as well as the oldest.
Observance of Flag Day
The week of June 14 is designated as “National Flag Week.” During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all government buildings. Some organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents. Other organizations and tribal groups hold counter-celebrations and protests.
The National Flag Day Foundation holds an annual observance for Flag Day on the second Sunday in June. The program includes a ceremonial raising of the national flag, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, a parade and other events.