Flag Day is observed on June 14 every year. It is a national observance but not a federal holiday. Only Pennsylvania recognizes it as a legal holiday.
Why is Flag Day celebrated in June? It is because the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution on June 14, 1777, declaring that the United States flag would be 13 stripes that alternated red and white and there would be 13 white stars in a blue field. Prior to that each colony had its own flag.
In 1818 the United States Congress voted to keep the 13 stripes, which represented the original 13 colonies. However, a new star would be added for every new state that joined the union. July 4, 1960 was the first time that the 50-star flag was flown. This followed Alaska joining as the 49th and Hawaii joining as the 50th state in 1959.
The Continental Congress did not specify why they chose red, white and blue as the colors—although it may have been because those were the colors of the British flag. However, in 1782 the Congress of the Articles of Confederation assigned these values to the colors of the Great Seal of the United States:
- Red for valor and hardiness
- White for purity and innocence
- Blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice
If you plan to fly the flag and need guidance on the rules for displaying the flag, here is a site that can help you.