Flag Day is June 14: Ten facts to know, including history and local Flag Day events

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comJune 13, 2013 

This Flag Day, remember it's not appropriate to use an American flag as a tablecloth.

Refer all questions to the folks at HGTV, who apparently are still dealing with backlash after suggesting "spicing up dining room decor by using an American flag as a tablecloth," according to a Business Insider report. Yes, the home design channel issued an apology.

Anyway, June 14 is Flag Day. Aside from the tablecloth rule, here are 10 other things you need to know.

How will the Chattahoochee Valley mark Flag Day?

If you'd like to attend a local event, I found two options. The Chattahoochee Valley Veterans Council and American Legion Post 135 of Phenix City will present a Flag Day ceremony at 10 a.m. EST June 14 at 1500 Airport Road in Phenix City. Some seating is provided, but guests are encouraged to bring chairs. Expect the Pledge of Allegiance, music and more. In the event of bad weather, it will be held at 1100 Airport Road in Phenix City.

Also on June 14, the Columbus/Fort Benning Elks Lodge No. 111 has a Flag Day event at 6:30 p.m. with free hot dogs and hamburgers. It’s at 5768 Miller Court in Columbus. Guests are advised to arrive early for seating.

When did we start celebrating Flag Day?

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that established a nationwide observance of Flag Day on June 14.

How did he pick that date?

It goes back to June 14, 1777. That's when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation," according to the History Channel.

What do the stars and stripes currently represent?

The stripes represent the 13 original colonies, while the 50 stars represent the number of states, according to PBS.

Betsy Ross designed the flag, right?

Don't be so sure about it. The History Channel explains, "To this day, no one knows who designed the flag or why that particular color combination and pattern were chosen. Although legend holds that Betsy Ross made the first American flag in 1776 after being asked to do so by Washington, primary sources backing up that assertion are scarce."

Are any other big events happening June 14?

Um, yes. It's the 238th birthday of the U.S. Army. Read more here.

What's vexillology and why does it matter on Flag Day?

It's the study of flags. Pretty cool, huh?

What's the significance of the colors on the flag?

According to PBS: Red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white symbolizes purity and innocence; blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

How do I display my flag?

Consult this handy guide from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

So, what should I do now?

Sit back and reflect.

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