Happy Flag Day

medium Flag Day Sims
Associated Press

Today celebrates the birth of the American flag and Americans across the country proudly display their stars and stripes in commemoration.  Yet many Americans know little about the history of this holiday.

On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19-year-old school teacher at Stony Hill, started what is now referred to as Flag Day. He hung a 10-inch, 38-star flag in a bottle on his desk and assigned essays to his students detailing the flags history and significance. Cigrand did so to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the day congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777.

Cigrand worked throughout his lifetime to achieve national recognition of Flag Day. In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14th the flag be displayed on all public buildings. Several years later on May 30, 1916, President Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a national observance of Flag Day. Following this act in 1949 President Truman signed an act designating June 14th as official National Flag Day.

Today we celebrate the National holiday by displaying the American flag and wearing red, white, and blue. The National Flag Day Foundation initiates fund raising efforts to support Bernard J. Cigrand’s dream of spreading the word about this important celebration of American History.

According to an article by the Washington Post, many District of Columbia residents celebrate this National holiday with a new modern twist. Today many citizens gather at Dupont Circle in D.C. to celebrate D.C. Flag Tattoo Day. Followers display the two bars and three stars of the Washington flag on their body in order to make a case for district voting rights in Congress.

Today also celebrates the U.S. Army Birthday. According to Ashworth College, a leader in online education, they released their third Battle of the Best Sweepstakes today in celebration of both the 236th U.S. Army birthday and Flag Day. The sweepstakes works in conjunction with Ashworth College Military Facebook page dedicated to military personnel, military spouses, veterans, and military supporters. Anyone with military ties will have an opportunity to win a $500 Exchange Gift Card.