The annual celebration of our great nation’s flag is believed to have first originated in 1885 upon a Wisconsin school teacher’s efforts to arrange for his pupils to observe June 14th as ‘Flag Birthday’. The significance of the date is because it marked the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of the stars and stripes in the flag.
On Aug. 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman officially declared June 14 as Flag Day.
The Origin of the Common Nickname ‘Old Glory’
The name Old Glory was given to a large, 10-by-17-foot flag by its owner, William Driver, a sea captain from Massachusetts. Inspiring the common nickname for all American flags, Driver’s flag is said to have survived multiple attempts to deface it during the Civil War. The flag is a primary artifact at the National Museum of American History. (PBS)
The National Museum of American History has undertaken a long-term preservation project of the enormous 1814 garrison flag that survived the 25-hour shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore by British troops and inspired Francis Scott Key to compose “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The flag is now stored at a 10-degree angle in a special low-oxygen, filtered light chamber and is periodically examined at a microscopic level to detect signs of decay or damage within its individual fibers
“Flag Day 2016, June 14 Th at Holiday Insights.” September 2 Holiday VJ Day / WWII Victory over Japan Day by Holiday Insights, www.holidayinsights.com/other/flagday.htm.
“History of the American Flag.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth/history/old-glory/.
Jenkins, Sally. “How the Flag Came to Be Called Old Glory.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 1 Oct. 2013, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-the-flag-came-to-be-called-old-glory-18396/.
“Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812.” Smithsonian Institution, www.si.edu/spotlight/flag-day/banner-facts.