A Grand Old Flag Day

The summer is full of patriotic holidays. Armed Forces day honors those who serve in the military. July 4th marks both the birthday of the United States and the midpoint of summer. Tucked in between Memorial Day and July 4th is Flag Day, where the country celebrated the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official symbol of America. Flag Day is June 14th, the day that the Second Constitutional Congress adopted the flag in 1777. But the holiday didn’t come into being until over 110 years later.

Flag Day is believed by many to have begun in Waubeka, Wisconsin in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a school teacher, held the first observance of Flag Day at his Stony Hill School. Cigrand travelled the country speaking about patriotism and the importance of the American flag. The Father of Flag Day went on to become president of both the American Flag Day Association and the National Flag Day Society. Cigrand inspired others in Pennsylvania and New York to back a Flag Day holiday. President Woodrow Wilson established a celebration of the Flag Resolution of 1777 on May 30th, 1916. It wasn’t until President Truman signed an Act of Congress on August 3rd, 1949 that June 14th became known as Flag Day.

The flag as an object is often treated with respect and reverence. The U.S. Government has a set of laws on how the flag is to be treated. Owners looking to celebrate the flag aren’t required to follow these regulations, but they can observe a few traditions:

  • When flown on a flag pole, the U.S. flag should be at the top, flying over any other flags, including state or city flags
  • When flown over a street, the stars should point north or east, depending on the direction of the street
  • If marching with the flag, put the flag to the marcher’s right or the observer’s left
  • All persons in military uniform should salute the flag in military style
  • Civilians may salute the flag by removing their hats, if applicable, and covering their heart with their right hand
  • Never let the flag touch the ground
  • The flag should not be displayed in inclement weather unless it is an all-weather flag
  • If displayed at night, the flag should be properly illuminated

Flying a flag on Flag Day honors the colors, but a few extra lighting touches can turn a simple flag pole into a patriotic display that would make George Washington proud. Wrapping a flag pole with Red, White, and Blue lights can be as easy with the right 5mm LED lights. Cascading Tube lights can easily be set up to look like fireworks without the noise and explosions. Use Red lights along the edge of a roof to highlight a horizontal element. White lights illuminate the base of the flag pole or as an accent to any bunting. On a prominent tree, Blue lights add a cool look to that little piece of history in everyone’s yard. Mixing all three color strands provides an opportunity to create an American flag out of just lights, to bring a little American pride to any late night party on the deck.

The U.S. flag is an important symbol of our country and our heritage. Flag Day honors that important role this symbol plays in history, featuring many proud Americans displaying it across the nation. Adding a few bits of light and other decoration can turn a simple holiday into a day that celebrates everything that makes this nation great.