The American flag and I share the same birthday. On June 14, 1777, the American Flag was officially created. Never mind which year I was created. My father was in the Army, drafted at the end of World War II, so I was taught to always respect the flag and to be proud that I shared its day. The morning of my birthday every year, my mother would put our American flag on the front of the house to celebrate Flag Day.
A few years ago, someone told me that National Flag Day, a day you see printed on June 14th on your calendar each year, was first formally observed right here in our own state. Waubeka, Wisconsin has a Flag Day celebration every year. Last year, when my birthday came around, I was ready for Flag Day and then realized I missed the celebration in Waubeka because it is the Sunday before Flag Day every year. This year I was ready and the weather cooperated. It was one of the few sunny days we have had so far this spring.
The Flag Day celebration included a program at the Americanism Center, a parade, entertainment and fireworks. There is also a Flag Day Museum in Waubeka. In 1885, at the Stoney Hill Schoolhouse in Waubeka, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19-year old school teacher placed a 10-inch, 38 star flag in a bottle or ink well on his desk and asked his students to write an essay on what the flag meant to them. Cigrand made his first public proposal for an annual observance of the birth of the flag in June of 1886 by writing an article in the Chicago Argus newspaper. Cigrand made the promotion of the flag a part of his life, writing hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and gave speeches on the subject. 31 years later, flag ceremonies were so prevalent that Woodrow Wilson declared June 14th as National Flag Day.
With a larger-than-life size image of Abraham Lincoln featured in our lobby, we are reminded of patriotism every day at Boelter + Lincoln. But none of us should need the solemn stare of “Old Abe” to feel thankful for our country. I hope you have a fun day today filled with family, friends, parades, picnics and fireworks. Happy Birthday America!