How Is Flag Day Celebrated?

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Although people celebrate Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, there’s also the oft-overlooked American summer holiday Flag Day, a day of observance for the U.S. flag. Sure, some Americans celebrate it, but these days, it seems like even more people simply forget about the holiday. If you don’t know about Flag Day, then below, learn how Flag Day is celebrated.

How do local governments observe Flag Day?

Several local governments celebrate Flag Day with activities throughout the second weekend of June. Some municipalities hold a ceremonial flag-raising in a central, downtown location. Oftentimes, this ceremony is followed by the singing of the national anthem and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Sometimes, local officials give out awards to community volunteers. 

How is Flag Day observed by state governments and the federal government?

Although Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, many state governments and the federal government celebrate Flag Day simply by displaying the red, white, and blue of the American flag. However, two states do celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday. 

Pennsylvania observes Flag Day on June 14. In New York, the holiday falls on the second Sunday every June. In addition to flag-raising and playing the national anthem, some state and federal celebrations may include a parade, a salute to the armed forces, or playing Taps.

How do certain organizations celebrate? 

Certain organizations, such as veterans’ lodges, have their own unique ways of celebrating Flag Day. Some veterans’ lodges may hold a formal Flag Day service every year. Sometimes, their ceremonies may be led by a local color guard team. Oher times, leaders may give a presentation about the history of the flag.

It’s also common for some veterans to share their stories on Sunday before their Flag Day service begins. They often take the time to reflect on when they served.

What does the average person do for Flag Day? 

Usually, people who celebrate Flag Day put the U.S. flag in front of their homes. At night, they take it down and bring the flag indoors. There are many other ways to celebrate Flag Day as well, such as having a picnic or making food with a red, white, and blue color scheme.

Wait, so what is Flag Day even about then? 

Now you know how people celebrate Flag Day in the U.S., but here is the history behind it: The U.S. flag was updated in 1777 to its stars and stripes pattern. In 1885, more than a full century later, one teacher in a small Wisconsin village wanted an annual U.S flag celebration. Four years later, Flag Day caught on in New York. 

27 years later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that formally established Flag Day. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the Act of Congress that fully formalized June 14th as the official annual date. Since then, people usually celebrate Flag Day by raising the flag, but conversations about the flag have led to certain flag norms and facts being revised.

If you celebrate Flag Day, how do you honor the occasion? Share your stories in the comments!

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