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Flag Day--June 14


...and to the Republic for which it Stands. One nation under God, Indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for All.

Although they were not the first to celebrate Flag Day, it's recognition and national observance are a result largely of a promotion by schools!

Prior to their rebellion from Great Britain in 1776, the thirteen colonies had separate identities, and this changed slowly. Attempts to unite under a single flag were met with reluctance until former British provinces adopted a national flag on June 14, 1777, known as the Grand Union Flag, but this was purely unofficial. The "Stars and Stripes" became the legally recognized banner with the winning of independence in 1783.

Although the flag itself quickly gained acceptance, the first Flag Day was not held until June 14, l861 in Hartford, Connecticut to demonstrate support for the Civil War. The next Flag Day was not observed until June 14, 1889 when a kindergarden in New York City conducted it's own ceremony. Shortly afterward the New York State legistature passed a law stating that the schools would continue to recognize the day.

Others also worked to promote Flag Day. William T. Kerr from Pennsylvania is recognized by many as the Father of Flag Day. As a schoolboy he spoke out for the celebration and he continued into adulthood. As a result of his efforts, and the efforts of others, in 1893 the mayor of Philadelphia ordered that the flag be displayed on all public buildings on June 14, and four years later the governor of New York made a similar proclamation. Not until August 3, l949, was Flag Day officially designated by Congress.

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