June 14, 2013
By now, many of you know that I am very proud of my Greek heritage. I am not shy about letting people know that I am Greek, but I feel a deeper sense of satisfaction proclaiming I am an American of Greek descent. That being said, June 14 is Flag Day, and I am curious as to how this celebration originated.
Searching information at my local library, I found that Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. On June 14, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher in Wisconsin, placed a small flag with 38 stars in a bottle on his desk. To the, I imagine, chagrin of his pupils, he assigned essays on the flag and its significance. Cigrand devoted extraordinary effort and time to champion a national day of recognition and observance of the flag. He was 50 years old when President Woodrow Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day.
In 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. On June 14th, 2004, the 108th U.S. Congress voted unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Waubeka Wisconsin, the birthplace of Cigrand. I wonder if our Congress today will ever vote unanimously for anything. Finally, I am not sure if the Greeks celebrate a national flag day, but I do know that the Greeks decorate everything with the blue and white colors of the flag. I guess I better do some more research while listening to George M. Cohan’s song, "You’re A Grand Old Flag."
Platte City Branch