Today, June 14, is Flag Day in the United States of America. This day commemorates the adoption of our flag which happened on this day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. This day isn't an official federal holiday - sorry to everyone who wants a day off from work - however, some states celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday. Pennsylvania began that precedent in 1937, becoming the first U.S. state to claim June 14th as a state holiday. In New York, the second Sunday in June is designated as Flag Day and a state holiday.
And then there are the parades. We do love our parades in this country! Fairfield, Washington boasts having the longest running tradition of a Flag Day parade, their first in 1909. However, the people of Appleton, Wisconsin claim to have the oldest Flag Day parade, held annually since 1950, an assertion that is disputed by the people of Quincy, Massachusetts which has had an annual Flag Day parade since 1952. On the "We Have The Longest Running Parade" bandwagon we can add Troy, New York and Three Oaks, Michigan, both claiming to have the nation's oldest, and largest, Flag Day parade.
It won't surprise you that the U.S.of A is not the only country with a Flag Day celebration. Several others recognize the day their flag was adopted with a holiday. Here are some of those, with the name of the country that we're familiar with here in the United States shown first followed by the familiar informal name its citizens know it as, and the date the Flag Day was established.
ABKHAZIA/Apkhazeti - July 23, 1992
ARUBA/Aruba - March 18, 1976
BRAZIL/Brasil) - November 19, 1889, the 21-star version. It was changed to a 27-star version in 1992
ECUADOR/ Educador - September 26, 1860.
ENGLAND/same - April 23, 1545, which is also St. George's Day.
ITALY/Italia - January 7, 1797
MEXICO/same - February 24, 1937
PHILLIPINES/Pilipinas - May 28, 1898. Commemorates when the Philippines Flag was taken into battle for the first time.
SCOTLAND/Alba (I have to add the local formal name because of how pretty it is: Rìoghachd na h’Albannach)
1512, no exact day and month but Flag Day is celebrated on November 30. Scotland also has an "unofficial" flag, the Lion Rampart. The white cross on the blue background is the Saltire, the official flag, also known as St. Andrews' Cross. Flag Day in Scotland is celebrated as a part of St Andrews Day.
SWAZILAND/same - Celebrated on April 25. This commemorates the day in 1968 when the British Flag was lowered and the Swaziland Flag was raised.
Albania's Flag Day is November 28, commemorating that day in 1912 as Independence Day.
When I and millions of other television viewers around the world tune into the 2016 Summer Olympics hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this August, we'll see the colorful pageant of the flags I've listed as well as nearly 200 others. I do love that opening ceremony!
Clicking on the Olympics flag will take you to a page on the 2016 Olympics website that shows all the flags of the countries participating in this summer's games.
Any celebrations of this day in your town?