Flag Day

June 14th

 

An annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have started with the vision of several school teachers. In 1885, BJ Cigrand, arranged for his students 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'. During the next several years he publicized his idea through magazine and newspaper articles and public speeches. Another school teacher spread the idea to New York. On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned ceremonies honoring the American flag for the children of his school. His ideas for observing Flag Day were later adopted by the State Board of Education in New York.

From that time Flag Day caught on rapidly. The Betsy Ross House, the Sons of the Revolution, and the Colonial Dames all added their voice to a call for honoring the American flag with its own special day. In 1894 American Flag Day Association was formed and the governor of New York directed the flag to be displayed on all public buildings. Thousands of school children in New York and the Midwest participated in flag ceremonies in public settings every year. Finally in 1916, Woodrow Wilson established Flag Day by Proclamation. However, it wasn’t until August of 1949 that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

The following websites and resources were reviewed for use in elementary classrooms to celebrate Flag Day.

Margaret Hill, Director
SCORE History-Social Science.

 

Flag History
http://www.pbs.org/capitolfourth/flag.html
This PBS site has a brief and clear section on the history of the American flag useful for Flag Day class study.

Today in History: June 14
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jun14.html
Here are resources from the Library of Congress to learn about the American flag, to celebrate Flag Day, and to learn about controversies related to the flag salute.

National Flag Day Foundation
http://www.flagday.org/Pages/PausePage.html
This site of the official National Flag Day Foundation formed in 1982 has information about celebration of Flag Day across the country and is supporting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Important Flags in U.S. History
http://www.usflag.org/history/historicflags.html
Here are images of American flags during all stages of America’s history. There are also state flags shown.

I am the Flag
http://www.usflag.org/i.am.the.flag.html
This poem by Ruth Apperson Rous speaks of the meaning of the American flag’s elements.

Salute to Flag Day!
http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/lesson005.shtml
This is a brief internet lesson from Education World about Flag Day suitable for upper elementary.

US Flag Day Activities and Crafts
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/flagday/
These crafts and activities are great for celebrating Flag Day at the early elementary and pre-school levels.

Flag Rules and Regulations
http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagetiq.html
Here are guidelines for folding the flag, displaying the flag, and rules and regulations regarding the American flag.

Flag Day
http://www.holidayinsights.com/other/flagday.htm
Learn how to properly display the flag and about people connected to the history of the American flag. Links point students toward further research.

Children’'s Literature for Flag Day

Flag Day (Holiday Histories) by Mir Tamim Ansary. Heinemann, 2006.
It is June 14 and your neighbors all have flags outside their houses. But do you know why? Its Flag Day, of course!
Grades K-2

The Flag Maker by Susan Campbell. Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
During the War of 1812, the American army commissioned a local widow, flag maker Mary Pickersgill, to create an extravagantly large flag to be flown over Fort McHenry near Baltimore's harbor; the flag still exists and now rests at the Smithsonian.
Grades K-2

Did You Carry the Flag Today Charlie? by Rebecca Caudill. Holt, 1966
It is Charlie's turn to carry the flag and what he had to do is told in this story. Grades K-3