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Flag Day is June 14


Thursday, June 14 is Flag Day. It celebrates the date in 1777 (242 years ago) when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States.

The United States’ first known Flag Day celebration was apparently in Hartford, Connecticut on June 14, 1861 and came at the suggestion of one of its citizens, George Morris. Its patriotic celebration supported the Union in the first year of the American Civil War.

“One of the key players in the founding of National Flag Day was Bernard J. Cigrand (1866-1932), a child of Luxembourgian immigrants,” according to http://blog.americanflags.com.

Cigrand was a 19-year-old teacher at Stony Hill School, a one-room school in Waubeka, Wisconsin, where Cigrand and his students celebrated Flag Day on June 14, 1885. He continued to advocate for a national Flag Day, which finally happened with a presidential order signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. An Act of Congress made Flag Day on June 14 official in 1946.

“The Stars and Stripes, the official national symbol of the United States of America was authorized by Congress on that Saturday of June 14, 1777 in the fifth item of the days agenda,” according to www.nationalflagday.com. “The entry in the journal of the Continental Congress 1774-89 Vol. Vlll 1777 reads ‘Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.’”

“It is the universal custom to display the American flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open,” according to www.flagandbanner.com/flags/flag_etiquette.asp. ‘However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.”

New Mexico flag

New Mexico has had an official state flag since March 1925, when Gov. Arthur T. Hannett signed a bill designating a design by Dr. Harry Mera and his wife, Reba, of Santa Fe. Mera won a contest sponsored in 1923 by the New Mexico Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. With the scarlet and gold of old Spain, the flag contains the Zia pueblo symbol’s sacred the four directions, four seasons, four times of the day and four ages of life. “The symbol's proportions are fixed by legislative act, with the four groups of rays set at right angles, the two inner rays one-fifth longer than the outer rays.  The diameter of the circle in the center is one-third the width of the symbol,” according to the New Mexico Secretary of State.

The New Mexico flag is one of only four U.S. state flags that does not include the color blue. It was voted the best of 72 U.S. and Canadian flags by the North American Vexillological Association in 2001.        

Mike Cook may be reached at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.

Flag Day