Lanterns: History of Flag Day and the Pledge of Allegiance


History of Flag Day and the Pledge of Allegiance

Flag Day

Though it now receives less attention than National Doughnut Day, Flag Day falls on June 14th every year, and with that in mind, I looked into its history. 

According to the report, the original Flag Day can be traced back to a school in Wisconsin in 1885.  It was designed to coincide with the date that the Second Continental Congress passed the "Flag Resolution" on June 14th, 1777 which stated: "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."

The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.

Flag Day remained an unofficial holiday until 1916 when:

Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

The Pledge of Allegiance

This year, Mike Opelka used the occasion during his mid-day broadcast on The Blaze Radio Network to discuss the history of the Pledge of Allegiance from the original version written by Frank Bellamy in 1892, and included why "under God" was added in 1954, at the behest of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the controversy behind it.

The original Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

This discussion wouldn't be complete without sharing the very touching Pledge of Allegiance monologue by Red Skelton in 1969.

Written by Mark Watkins

Conservatarian blogger living in the Upper Midwest. Strong believer in personal responsibility, smaller federal government and the Constitution in it's original meaning. Articles and thoughts can also be found at

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