Flag Day: A History - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Flag Day: A History

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Americanism is a foundation of the American Legion. Here's a history of the United State Flag Code according to the Legion.

In 1923, the American Legion invited representatives from many professional, labor, educational, commercial and military organizations to attend a meeting with one single purpose: to come up with one set of rules, a code, for the proper display, handling and respect of the United States Flag. Those groups drafted standards for consistent flag etiquette, treatment and display.

For the next 19 years, the American Legion led a national campaign to distribute those rules. They were adopted by schools and local governments, and were used in conducting parades.

In 1942, during World War I, Congress finally passed the United States Flag Code, and the rules became law.

In 1976 Congress revised the Flag Code and stated that the United States flag is considered to be a living symbol representing a living country, and that the flag represents the many freedoms, rights and responsibilities our citizens have that may not be found in other countries. It should be noted, the Flag Code simply provides guidelines for proper flag etiquette. There are no penalties for violating any of its provisions.

Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1977 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on Flag Day; Congress adopted The American Continental Army after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day.

In August, 1949, National Flag Day was established by an act of Congress.

Flag Day is not an official Federal Holiday, however, it is at the President's discretion to officially proclaim the observance.

The week of June 14 is designated as "National Flag Week." During National Flag Week, the President will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American Flag for the duration of that week.

Here are some additional fun facts for Flag Day:

Who designed the flag? "To this day, no one knows who designed the flag or why that particular color combination and pattern were chosen. Although legend holds that Betsy Ross made the first American flag in 1776 after being asked to do so by Washington, primary sources backing up that assertion are scarce," explains the History Channel.

When did we switch to 50 stars? That was by the Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959. It became the official flag on July 4th, 1960.

What do the colors mean? Red is for hardiness and courage. White is for purity and innocence. And Blue is for vigilance and justice.

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