JUNE 14: The father of Flag Day

cigrand-stoneON THIS DATE in 1885, nineteen-year-old Wisconsin grade school teacher Bernard Cigrand assigned essays on Old Glory and launched the first-ever Flag Day. Cigrand gathered his students at Stony Hill grade school in Waubeka, Wisconsin, around a 10-inch U.S. flag and explained that the design for the first stars-and-stripes banner had been approved on June 14, 1777, which meant Old Glory had turned 108 that day. Then he had them write essays on the flag.

Bernard Cigrand

The U.S. Congress in 2004 declared that our annual flag appreciation day began with Cigrand and his students in 1885. Of course, few would have known about that day if Cigrand hadn’t spent years promoting the concept of a Flag Day. He wrote an essay for a Chicago newspaper that pushed for June 14 as an annual flag celebration day, and gave numerous speeches to that effect.

In 1916, when Cigrand was fifty, President Wilson called for a national observance of Flag Day. In 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress that made every June 14th Flag Day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s