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June 14 was named Flag Day on Aug. 3, 1949

Early American history notes Elizabeth Griscom (Betsy) Ross as the seamstress credited with making the first American flag. Her task was assigned in 1776 by General George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. A sketch of the flag had six pointed stars on a blue background, but the stars on the first flag were five pointed, and remained so. The flag of the United States was adopted on June 14, 1777, through a resolution of the Second Continental Congress. A century later, in 1885, a school teacher in Wisconsin, B.J. Cigrand helped his students organize “Flag Day” to commemorate the adoption of the United States Flag on June 14, 1777. Some three decades later, President Woodrow Wilson May 30, 1916, issued a Proclamation that the anniversary of the Flag Resolution would officially be observed on June 14. On Aug. 3, 1949, President Truman designated through an Act of Congress that June 14 would be known as National Flag Day. The words of our National Anthem came from Francis Scott Key’s poem titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry” written as he watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812. The poem was set to music using a popular British song by John Stafford Smith, “To Anacreon in Heaven” and renamed “The Star Spangled Banner.” Our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America was composed by Captain George Balch, a Union Army officer during the Civil War, revised by Francis Bellamy in 1882 and formally adopted in as the pledge in 1942 and the name, “The Pledge of Allegiance” adopted in 1945. In 1954, the words “Under God” were added.


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