The “Stars and Stripes” was designated the official National symbol of the United States of America by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777-the fifth item on the agenda that day. It was resolved in the Journal of the Continental Congress “that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” In 1885, a school teacher named Bernard J. Cigrand encouraged his students to reflect on the real meaning and majesty of this symbol.
In Waubeka, Wisconsin, nineteen year old Bernard J. Cigrand placed a 10” 38-star flag in an inkwell on his desk at the front of his one room classroom. He prompted his students to write an essay about what the flag meant to them, referring to that day, June 14, as the flag’s birthday. From that day on, Cigrand dedicated himself to inspiring not only his students but all Americans to reflect on the grand significance of “Old Glory.”
A little over three decades later in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14th as National Flag Day. President Wilson proclaimed, “The Flag has vindicated its right to be honored by all nations of the world and feared by none who do righteousness.” On August 3, 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress recognizing the holiday of Flag Day and encouraging Americans to celebrate it.
On June 14, 2004, 108th U.S. Congress unanimously voted on H.R. 662 declaring Flag Day originated in Waubeka, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.
Now, Stony Hill School is a historical site and is located in Waubeka, WI, and the National Flag Day Foundation (of which Cigrand was once president) is still actively pursuing Cigrand’s mission. A yearly celebration of Flag Day occurs on the second Sunday in June, and patriots of not only Waubeka, WI but from across the Union gather to celebrate where Flag Day was founded.