WAYNE, PA - The Flag Manufacturers Association of America (FMAA) proudly celebrates the 233rd birthday of the U.S. flag on Flag Day, June 14, and encourages all Americans to join in the celebration and honor our nation’s great symbol by flying their American flag during National Flag Week.
On June 14, 1777, within a year of achieving independence, the Founding Fathers gave the United States its first symbol with the message, "The Flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 stars, white on a blue field representing a new constellation."
The idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. Bernard J. Cigrand, a school teacher in Fredonia, Wisconsin, arranged for his pupils to observe June 14 as the "birthday of the Flag", since that was the date the Continental Congress had officially adopted the Stars and Stripes as the Flag of the United States. The first observance of Flag Day included a small American Flag that stood in a bottle on the teacher’s schoolroom desk.
He later became a dentist, but Dr. Cigrand continued his crusade to have June 14th recognized as a national holiday when Americans could pay homage to the national emblem. He campaigned tirelessly in newspaper and magazine articles, in books and on the lecture platform. In 1894, he and LeRoy VanHorn of Chicago, a Civil War veteran, formed The American Flag Day Association, whose purpose was to celebrate Flag Day and to conduct exercises in the interest of school children.
Flag Day was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on June 14, 1916, calling for a nation-wide observance. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3, 1949 that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
The week of June 14 is designated as National Flag Week. During National Flag Week, the President will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all government buildings. Some organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents.
"The United States flag is a symbol of the nation, great and strong," remarked Sandy Van Lieu, FMAA Chairman. "The Flag Manufacturers Association of America takes pride in our industry and the birth of our nation through this patriotic symbol."
While flying the flag is an important part of observing National Flag Week and Flag Day, FMAA wants to ensure that the flags proudly displayed are true symbols of patriotism. When raising Old Glory for all to see, Americans are encouraged to look for the FMAA Certification Seal.
In 2005, FMAA launched its "Certified Made in the USA" certification program, designed to ensure that all American flags purchased are made in the USA of materials that are domestic in origin and that all processes involved in its manufacture were completed in USA facilities with USA labor. The FMAA monitors and requires re-certification from its member manufacturers every year.
United States law requires every flag be labeled with its "country of origin." Those designated as "Made in USA" may be true to their name, but only those bearing the FMAA Certification seal are guaranteed to adhere to the standards and continued compliance as monitored by a professional association and its domestic members.