How's your knowledge of the American Flag? Want some tips to share with your friends and fellow Americans? Here are some interesting facts about Flag Day in the United States, now celebrated every June 14th.
-There have been 27 different versions of the Star-Spangled Banner. The present flag bearing 50 stars became the country's official flag on July 4, 1960.
-The idea of celebrating the flag's birthday dates to June 14, 1889 when George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned flag appreciation ceremonies for the children of his school. His idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York and it grew from there.
-Many communities and a few states had celebrated Flag Day from around 1861 at the start of the American Civil War. However, it was not until 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as a national Flag Day, celebrating the adoption of the Stars and Stripes.
-Congressional legislation was signed by President Harry Truman in 1949 designating June 14 as National Flag Day. The law also called upon the president to issue a Flag Day proclamation every year.
-The flag's name, Old Glory, purportedly came from Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts. His friends gave him a brand new flag of 24 stars. As the banner was hoisted above his ship and caught the breeze, Driver exclaimed Old Glory!
-Many states produce a Guide to Flag Etiquette for displaying your flag. You can see it by clicking here.
Happy Flag Day America!