National flags are not merely symbols of a country. Their colors and designs convey past history and future goals. Flags have powerful connotations. They speak to the people and politicians. People of one country will burn the flag of another with whose politics they do not agree. To show their anger, students display their own nation’s flags with the design altered or cut out completely. Dictators fly flags; dissidents rip them down. In every country of the world, the treatment of a flag displays an opinion or statement.
We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separate it by white in stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her… – President George Washington
The History of Flag Day
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress proposed that the United States have a national flag instead of the British Union Jack. The 13 stars of the flag represented the 13 new states. There were few public ceremonies honoring the Stars and Stripes until 1877, when on, June 14, it was flown from every government building in honor of the centennial of the adoption of a national flag. Schools had unfurled American flags over their doors or outside the buildings long before this; but in 1890, North Dakota and New Jersey made a law that required their schools to fly the flag daily. The first official Flag Day was observed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1893. New York also proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day 1897. Other states were slow to follow. Some people thought that the day was too close to Memorial Day and Independence Day.
Happy Flag Day from The Ohio State University and Buckeye Nation!