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June 14, 2012

Our Opinion: Celebrate Back in the swing Flag Day

Today, June 14, is Flag Day. It is a day to celebrate “Old Glory,” the “Stars and Stripes” or the “Star Spangled Banner” – whatever you wish to call it _ and all for which it stands.

Flag Day commemorates the day in 1777 the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag with its 13 stars and stripes to represent the United States.

Bernard J. Cigrand is generally considered to be the “Father of Flag Day,” although there are other claims as to the founding of the day. Cigrand held an observance for Flag Day at the Stony Hill School in Waubeka, Wis., where he was a teacher in 1885. He promoted the idea of Flag Day in speeches and eventually became the president of the American Flag Day Association and the National Flag Day Society.

Flag Day is not an official holiday, but June 14 was established as Flag Day in 1916 in a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson. Later, in 1949, Congress established the June 14 date as National Flag Day.

In 1966, Congress acted again. By joint resolution it requested that each year the president sign a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 falls as National Flag Week. It also asks the president to request that Americans display the flag during that week.

President Barack Obama has done just that and asked “all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by displaying the flag.”

We hope people are planning to participate by flying the flag and taking the time to consider what it represents.

We also hope that those people who do display the flag do so properly. There are right ways and wrong ways to display the flag. Unfortunately, flag etiquette, or rules, seem to us to be overlooked too frequently. It’s not complicated and often as simple as getting the field of stars oriented properly. If you are uncertain about flag etiquette, there are numerous websites that detail how to fly the flag properly and with the respect it deserves.

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