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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jun 13, 2009

Sunday June 14 Flag Day! The idea of setting aside a specific day to pay homage to our red, white and blue banner was first proposed in 1885, a whole 111 years after Betsy Ross completed the last stitch on the very first Stars and Stripes. Proponents said the flag deserved its own observance apart from Fourth of July festivities which celebrates the birth of this great nation.

A schoolteacher by the name of B.J. Cigrand encouraged his students in Fredonia, Wis., to honor the flag on June 14. For years, he urged the celebration. Soon after a kindergarten teacher in New York followed suit and it was on June 14, 1891 that a Flag Day celebration was staged at the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. One by one, all of the states and local school districts added patriotic assemblies to annual calendars. Circled was the date of June 14, Flag Day.

President Woodrow Wilson officially established the day honoring the flag on May 30, 1916 by signing a proclamation. It was not until Aug. 3, 1949, however, that President Harry S. Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.

Franklin K. Lane, secretary of the interior may have said it best in his 1914 Flag Day address: “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”

This banner deserves our respect.

Remember to stand when she passes you in parades. Cover your heart with your hand when the “Star Spangled Banner” is being played as you stand. Remember to remove your hat if you are wearing one. By doing these actions, we pledge “allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Be proud to be American and count your blessings that this is the land of your birth.

Long may our red, white and blue proudly flutter in the land of the free; home to our military who take up the good fight to preserve all that we hold dear.