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Why is June 14 designated as National Flag Day? Not everyone would know how to answer this question. Our veterans and current military are the most knowledgeable because they have fought to protect what it represents. Today, as always, displaying the United States flag on Flag Day, June 14, is considered an act of patriotism and hope.

Here is the history of Flag Day and the United States flag:


On June 14, 1777, the design of our first national flag was approved by Congress.

13 Star Flag13 Star Flag
13 Star Flag Variant13 Star Flag Variant

The Flag Act, stated: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

The 13-star flag is also known as the 'Betsy Ross flag.' The Flag Resolution did not specify the arrangement of the stars nor the specific proportions of the flag. Therefore, many 13-star flags were used.

The 13 stars represent the 13 original colonies:

  • Delaware (December 7, 1787),
  • Pennsylvania (December 12, 1787),
  • New Jersey (December 18, 1787),
  • Georgia (January 2, 1788),
  • Connecticut (January 9, 1788),
  • Massachusetts (February 6, 1788),
  • Maryland (April 28, 1788), South Carolina (May 23, 1788),
  • New Hampshire (June 21, 1788),
  • Virginia (June 25, 1788),
  • New York (July 26, 1788),
  • North Carolina (November 21, 1789),
  • Rhode Island (May 29, 1790)

The flag has been modified 27 times since then. As new states joined the union, the number of stars on the flag grew.


Current US FlagCurrent US Flag

The current design of the United States flag is courtesy of the late Robert Heft who, in 1958, was an 18-year-old high school student in Lancaster, Ohio. He designed the 50-star flag for a high school class project and received a B minus.

Heft asked his teacher whether if his design was accepted by Congress, his grade would be changed to an A. In 1959, Heft got his A when President Eisenhower accepted his design of 50 stars to include Alaska and Hawaii. Heft's flag design was adopted by Congress in 1960.


Over 100 years ago, President Woodrow Wilson established June 14 as a day to fly our flag with pride. “I…suggest and request that throughout the nation and in every community, the 14th day of June be observed as Flag Day."      

"There should be special patriotic exercises to express our thoughtful love of America, our comprehension of the great mission of liberty and justice to which we have devoted ourselves as a people, our pride and our enthusiasm for the political program of the nation, our determination to make it greater and purer with each generation, and our resolution to demonstrate to all the world its sentiment and purpose."


Unless you live in Pennsylvania, where it's an official holiday, you probably won't get the day off on June 14. But wherever you are, you can celebrate June 14, the day the Continental Congress adopted the design for our national flag.

This June, we have the opportunity to proclaim our respect and honor for our country by flying the flag and teaching our children why we're doing it.


  • Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and the Star-Spangled Banner.

  • "God Bless America, Land That I Love," Irving Berlin's 1938 song of personal thanks, is still deemed worthy of being our personal sentiment of patriotism.
  • In case you wondered, a vexillologist is a professional flag historian. The word is a synthesis of the Latin word vexillum (flag) and the Greek suffix -logia (study).
  • Robert Peary, cut up the American flag and left pieces of it scattered at the North Pole. His expedition was the first to reach the North Pole.
  • The only time it is appropriate to fly the flag upside down is in an emergency. It means 'Help, It's an emergency, Call the police, immediate help needed.'
  • Flags are flown until they are worn out and then they are destroyed, preferably by burning.
  • The words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" were written on the back of an envelope by Francis Scott Key. The music is from an old English drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven."
  • The first time the American flag was flown over a foreign fort was in the country of Libya over Fort Derne on the shores of Tripoli.
  • Flagpole sitting was a craze started in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1929. A man called 'Shipwreck' Kelly was famous for sitting for long periods of time and set many flagpole-sitting records.

Top of Flag Day-June 14

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