Today is Flag Day, a day which, like some other holidays established as such by presidential fiat but largely unheralded, will for the most part pass without incident or remark. This is unfortunate, because Flag Day has had a history nearly as long as the American flag itself.
Flag Day was first observed in 1885 when BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for 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". On June 14, 1894, under the auspices of the Illinois organization known as the American Flag Day Association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating. Inspired by decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day, the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777, was officially established by a Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916, but it was not until 33 years later, on Aug. 3, 1949, that President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.
It is both ironic and sad that the holiday and the flag it celebrates in some quarters seem to get equally short shrift. Flags that flew proudly, especially after 9/11 are today, almost five years after the terrorist attacks, tattered, worn and faded. In some cases, only scraps still flutter from flagpoles and standards. In many instances, this sad occurrence appears to have arisen
more out of ignorance than disrespect. Many people simply do not know how to display or care for a flag or dispose of one after it has suffered the effects of wind and weather. This information is readily available, either on the Internet, at one's local library or through the many veterans' associations and American Legion posts that can be found anywhere in America. [Such instructions are provided on page XX of this edition, in fact.]
Today, Flag Day 2006, is a good time to resolve to treat the flag of the United States of America with more of the deference it deserves. In any case, we should be patriotic and fly our flag,We can hardly expect the people of other nations to show some respect to our flag if we fail to set an example ourselves. God bless America and all its symbols of freedom, especially our flag.