A flag can represent a club, team, state, or country that you’re a part of. By respecting and honoring it, you’re saying that you stand behind that community and the people who are part of it. You may disagree with some aspect of the group, but you’re willing to set that aside to show support as a whole. This is why we celebrate and honor our national flag. Our country may never be perfect, but we continue to strive for unity by learning about our history and striving for a brighter future.
Flag Day in the U.S. was first celebrated in 1885 by a Wisconsin school teacher named BJ Cigrand. He organized a group of students for the 108th anniversary of the Flag Resolution, and spent the rest of his life encouraging the tradition to spread. On August 3, 1949 it was officially declared a national holiday.
The U.S. flag design we have today was created by a 17-year-old student named Bob Heft. He submitted it as a history project – with 50 stars instead of 48, explaining that he thought Alaska and Hawaii would soon join the union. Though he received a B- grade on his project, he decided to submit it to his congressman later on when those two new states were announced. Heft’s design was ultimately chosen out of over 1500 submissions, and he was invited to stand next to President Eisenhower as the flag was first raised on July 4, 1960. (His grade was promptly changed to an A.)
This Flag Day, celebrate by learning more about your flag’s rich history. And, when it’s time to take it down, learn how to fold the flag properly and what each fold represents.
Despite the chaos we all experience in the world, our flag can still represent freedom, liberty, and justice for all.