Tag Archives: Flag Day

Showing Pride during Honor America Days!

Honor America Days

Every year, from Flag Day, celebrated in June, through the Fourth of July celebration of the official birth of the United States, Americans show their pride in the greatest free country in the world with parades, flags, decorations and community events.

Honor America Days have been celebrated for decades, a time when Americans are asked to remember not only the past, but to look forward to the future. It’s a time when events and accomplishments are honored and celebrated, as well as a time for future dreams and goals to be planned in the minds of young and old alike. Honoring America’s history is not just about recognizing our military, though that certainly is a large part of it, but it’s also a time to reflect on our heritage and our past; our great diversity as a nation. America is rich in the culture of multiple races and customs. Americans are truly the result of a mixture of many different religions, beliefs, races and customs. Every city within the United States is rich in biodiversity and ethnic populations.

Depending on which part of the country you’re from, honoring America may mean different events and customs. In every part of the country, communities plan citywide events like cookouts and dances. Rodeos are a popular event in the western part of the country, while cookouts and parades are celebrated in the east and south. Flags sprout up along streets and in front of community buildings throughout the country, and red, white and blue bunting and other decorations announce the advent of summer.

Honor America Days is a time to remember the sacrifices made by thousands of Americans who walked before us; the pioneers who braved thousands of miles of empty prairies to follow their dreams, as well as those who fought wars on foreign soil to perpetuate the concept of freedom and democracy around the world. It is a time when explorers are honored and founding fathers remembered for their contributions to states, towns and households across the nation. Honoring America isn’t difficult for any American to do. Such an honor can be accomplished every time our eyes settle upon the American flag or we recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It can be honored every time we feel a lump in our throat when we see soldiers in uniform shipping off to destinations far and wide. Honoring the traditions and unique spirit of America is found in the simple sight of watching a man on horseback round up cattle, or step from the space shuttle.

The American spirit is honored during this week, something that can’t be described by anyone who isn’t an American. The feeling is invisible and can’t be touched, but it is found in the heart of every man, woman and child who has had the honor to grow up in such a free and democratic nation. Honoring America isn’t difficult for most Americans, and such observances take place on a daily basis for many. Every time the American flag is raised or a hand is placed over the heart, someone, somewhere, is honoring America.

Honor America Days is celebrated in every state in the union. The period of time leading up to the Fourth of July is a time of anticipation for millions of Americans, for there’s something about summertime in America that is different. Many families use the opportunity to take trips and vacations to national parks, memorials and landmarks, which serve to perpetuate pride in America. Children learn about the history of America and for those who are fortunate enough to be able to travel and see some of it, memories will never be forgotten.

Honor America Days may be officially designated as a specific period of time, but for Americans around the country, every day is an opportunity to honor the United States. Whether you honor America by hanging a flag in front of your house, or placing bunting on your porch or thanking a soldier on his way somewhere in service to your country, you are honoring America.

Why We Celebrate Flag Day

Flag Day

The observance of Flag Day on every June 14th has been a tradition in the United States of America since 1777, when the first Continental Congress passed a resolution in Philadelphia that stated, “The flag of the United States shall be of thirteen stripes of alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white in a blue field, representing the new constellation.”

The stars were meant to represent a new constellation that had risen in the West, its idea taken from the constellation of Lyra, which signifies harmony. The blue was a color that symbolized resistance to oppression and the circled stars represented the idea of unending eternity. Of course, the thirteen stars designated each of the original thirteen colonies, and there are fifty in the field today, representing every state within America. The red in the flag represents defiance and daring, the white means purity. The first American flag was carried into battle during the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, made by a woman named Betsy Ross at George Washington’s request.

The first official observance of the new flag of the United States of America didn’t occur until 1889, when a school principal in New York city decided the anniversary called for patriotic activities, and from that day on the Department of Education decided to have June 14th observed in all public schools. Thereafter, the Superintendent of Public Schools provided for the celebrations of both Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays, Memorial Day and Flag Day to be officially observed in schools throughout the nation. Early on, a special flag raising ceremony was accompanied by the singing of patriotic songs. The idea caught on. By 1897, the Governor of New York ordered a proclamation that all government buildings would fly the flag on June 14th, making it the first non-school event that quickly took the country by storm. Soon, most houses and buildings also flew the American flag every flag day, and citizens lined the streets with flags as well.

On Flag Day in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson made a speech that buttressed his decision to declare war on Germany, propelling the country into the First World War. In his speech, he said, “We meet to celebrate Flag Day because this flag which we honor and under which we serve is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation.”

Flag Day has been celebrated every year since, and while it was never officially declared a national holiday, it is honored and observed by millions of Americans every year. The day is also celebrated with patriotic ceremonies in schools throughout the country, with singing, plays and recitation of famous speeches from ancestors and contemporaries alike. Every year on Flag Day, a ceremony is held in the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, and the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America place a wreath on her grave in Mount Moriah Cemetery in that same city. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops across the nation celebrate the day with special events and exercises that perpetuate the honor of the American flag, and many Boy Scout troops take part in ceremonies that retire old flags in dignity and replace them with new ones.

Since that first flag was sewn, billions have followed, and while the design of the American flag has undergone a few changes, mainly in the addition of stars as new states were added to the union, the colors remain true, as do their meaning. The American flag represents courage, freedom and democracy throughout the world, and is recognized instantly by foreign countries and citizens. Men and women continue to defend the American flag, sometimes with their lives, and Americans continue to honor both the flag and the sacrifices made to represent it.