Flag Day's long—and surprising—history explained
Decreed by each president, this June holiday honors the American flag, a key symbol of the republic.
Red, white, and backed by a narrative almost as long as the nation—the official tri-colored, star-spangled banner that tops government buildings and citizen homes across the United States first waved on June 14, 1777 (albeit in a different configuration). To celebrate the American flag, June 14 is thus known as Flag Day.
Although Flag Day is observed on a smaller scale than neighboring patriotic holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day, the observance has its own rich history.
Flag Day’s national debut came in 1916, almost two centuries—and more than 20 designs—after the flag’s adoption in the United States. On June 14 of that year, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation acknowledging the holiday.
President Calvin Coolidge issued a similar