American Flag


On June 14, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19-year-old teacher at Stony Hill School placed a 10-inch, 38 star flag on his desk.  He asked his students to write an essay in reflection of what this flag meant to them.  The American Flag Day Foundation aims to keep this patriotic tradition alive.



The essay contest is open to all students grades 4-12. All students in public, private, parochial, home, or virtual schools are invited and encouraged to participate. Length of the essays are:

     1. 150 words in length for grades 4 and 5
     2. 250 words in length for grades 6 and 7
     3. 500 words in length for grades 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12

All entries must be original and should reflect on the prompt, "What does the American flag mean to me."

Judging criteria is:
Composition                                            60%
Originality                                               20%
Grammar, punctuation, and spelling           20%

Please provide a cover sheet with the essay that includes the contestant’s name, grade, name of school, home address and phone number. The contestant’s name should also appear on the essay itself. Please note, submission of an entry indicates a consent for the winner's name, school, and home town to be published on this site. Winners will also be invited to read their essay at the Flag Day Observance in Waubeka, Wisconsin.

Prizes will be awarded to each age group (grades 4-5), (grades 6-7), and (grades 8-12) that include first place of $250 and second place prize of $125. Winners will be notified by phone.

Please submit entries by April 15, 2021 via: OR National Flag Day Observance 2021
                 PO Box 55
                 Waubeka, WI 53021

For more information contact: Pam Schlenvogt at (414)333-8778



The National Flag Day Foundation wishes to thank each of the nearly 250 students who submitted essays for the2020 contest. The response was greater than ever, with entries received from all over the United States. All of the essays were well done, making selection of only two per category difficult. The students expressed very thought-provoking reflections on the personal significance of the American Flag. All contestants are to be applauded for their outstanding effort. Special thanks to all of the contestants and our panel of judges.


First Place - Grades 3-5

Kira Cunningham
Milwaukee, WI


First Place - Grades 6-8

Eva Duran
Port Washington, WI


First Place - Grades 9-12

Jena Lakhani
Richmond, TX


Second Place - Grades 3-5

Ethan Krueger
Grafton, WI


Second Place - Grades 6-8

Delsie Duvall
Sparks, NV