There will be no fireworks and no time off from work. In fact, there may not be any celebration at all. But the calendar shows that today is the designated holiday to honor the country’s most recognized symbol—Old Glory. It’s Flag Day!
It was on June 14, 1777, that the Second Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act, which established the design and colors of the American flag.
Inspired by state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916.
While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). Bellamy was a Baptist minister and Christian socialist, and he was the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy.
The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth’s Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader’s Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Bellamy in 1891 as his assistant when he was pressured into leaving his Baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis’s sermons.
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
These words were adopted by Congress on June 22, 1942. It was the final evolution of the original pledge written by Bellamy .
On JUNE 14, 1954, Dwight Eisenhower signed Joint Resolution (Public Law 396) adding the phrase “One Nation Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
“From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty.
To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than…this rededication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country’s true meaning.”