• Why Is June 14 Flag Day?

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    On days like today, Flag Day, it’s easy to assume that Americans have been celebrating Flag Day since the American Revolution. But they haven’t. Flag Day didn’t become an observance at the national level until President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation on June 14, 1916, as a way to build patriotism leading into World War I.

    He chose June 14 because the Continental Congress adopted the first official flag on June 14, 1777. They were trying to keep the 13 states united as they pursued freedom from England. Hence, the meaning of the first flag was union, symbolized by a circle of 13 stars and 13 stripes. The flag had to first mean union before it could mean freedom. They had to unite before they could defeat the enemy.

    “Resolved: That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

    Journal of the Continental Congress, June 14, 1777

    In 1949, Congress made Flag Day an official observance, although it is not a federal holiday where workers have the day off. Today is a great day to fly your flag.

    As you have probably seen, I’ve been promoting my news children’s book series, which is centered on the American Flag. Below are a few of the images inside My American Flag, which I wrote for 4 to 6 year-olds and images from The Pledge to the Flag. Enjoy!

    Inside My American Flag:

    The Pledge to the Flag is for second to fourth graders.

    A look inside The Pledge to the Flag:

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    Jane Hampton Cook

    Jane Hampton Cook is a presidential historian, former White House staffer and author of 10 books, including Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War. Janecook.com.

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