Flag Day at the Veterans Home

flag day
Photo L to R; Tyrail Lambertson, Nathan Charlesworth, Paxton Charlesworth Exalted Ruler Tintic Lodge #711. Photo: Ed Helmick

June 14 was Flag Day and members of the Elks Lodge had a special program at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home in Payson. The small auditorium was filled with appreciative residents. Several historic flags were presented and accompanied by speeches.

It was a wonderful and patriotic experience to be present with these veterans who gave so much in their younger years representing our U.S. flag.

This brought about a review of the history of Flag Day USA. In 1907, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Grand Lodge designed by resolution June 14 as Flag Day, and adopted mandatory observance of the occasion by every lodge in 1911. The day was adopted as the flag day of the United States in 1885, when a teacher arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School District to observe the Flags Birthday on June 14, which was the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes.

On June 14, 1889, a kindergarten teacher in New York City planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and on June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration. On June 14, 1892, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution celebrated Flag Day.

On April 25, 1893, the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America adopted a resolution requiring the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority, and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14t. The observance of Flag Day originally resulted in each child being given a small flag. The day was celebrated by singing songs and listening to talks.    

In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. On June 14, 1894, the first general school celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humbolt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.

Flag Day was officially established by Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916. On August 3, 1949, President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14t of each year as National Flag Day.