Flag Day

History records the first Flag Day celebration as being in the spring of 1861.  Hartford resident George Morris is commonly credited as initially coming up with the idea for Flag Day not long before the break out of the Civil War. Hartford was in the heart of pro-Union New England and many were upset with the South’s disregard for the official flag.  Morris brought his idea to Hartford Courant Editor Charles Dudley Warner, who published an editorial in the newspaper on June 14, 1861. The Courant Editorial led to Connecticut’s  General Assembly voting to make Connecticut the first state to recognize June 14th as Flag Day.

Poster commemorating the 140th Flag Day on 15 February 1917

Poster commemorating the 140th Flag Day on 15 February 1917

“It has been suggested that the day be hereafter celebrated in a quiet way by a general display of flags, etc.,” the editorial said. “We like the suggestion, and think that such an observation of the day would increase our love for and our loyalty to the Stars and Stripes. … So let every flag be hoisted and every window show.”

The idea of a Flag Day caught on slowly.  William T. Kerr in Pennsylvania founded the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania in 1888, and became the national chairman one year later. He attended President Harry S. Truman’s 1949 signing of the Act of Congress that formally established the observance.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed  June 14 as Flag Day in 1916, but it wasn’t until August 1949 that National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. The measure was signed into law by President Harry Truman with William T. Kerr in attendance.

Flag Day Holiday Status:

Although Flag Day is not celebrated as a Federal holiday, it’s a day for Americans to honor the history and heritage. It’s one of  the “extra special” flag flying days in the Flag Code. More on flag flying days.

Comments are closed.

Americanflags.com Save Over 50% on high quality flags this Christmas