When Americans celebrate Flag Day they are celebrating the day that the United States stood up to be counted as an independent country from the tyranny of the British empire. The American Revolution was still not decided at that point but the United States Congress felt that the troops, and the country, needed a flag to get behind and to make everyone feel that there is something to be won in the revolution. As the old saying goes everyone decided to rally around the flag and the American revolution pushed onward. As American history dragged on there were a great deal of historic events that would take the focus away from any organized effort to celebrate Flag Day. The war of 1812, the American Civil War, and then the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln all helped to put any notion to celebrate Flag Day on the back burner for quite a while.
The myth around the way we began to celebrate Flag Day come from a little town in Wisconsin called Waubeka. In that little town a school teacher named Bernard Cigrand claims that he was the first person to tell his students to fly their American flags proudly on June 14th because it was, as he called it, the flag birthday of the American flag. In June of 1886, while attending dental school in Chicago, Cigrand published a column in the Argus newspaper promoting the idea that everyone should remember June 14th as the flag birthday of the American flag. He was so adamant in his promotion that in June of 1894 he managed to get over 300,000 children to gather in the parks of Chicago to display their American flags and celebrate Flag Day for the very first time.
Since that time there have been other stories that have come about with other people claiming to have brought attention to June 14th being the official birthday of the American flag but whomever really did start flying the flag first it really doesn’t matter. The American flag is there for all of us to rally around and it is not asking too much to salute it just one day out of the year. The week of June 14th is always designated as flag week with the President urging Americans to fly their flags all week and show the stars and stripes to the world. It is not asking too much to remember for one week a country that has given us all a home and something we can all be very proud of.