The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

June 14, 2013

Show respect to our flag


DANVILLE — Today is Flag Day, a holiday that celebrates the day in 1777 when the flag of red and white stripes with a series of stars set in a field of blue in the upper corner was adopted as the flag of the United States.

The image of the Stars and Stripes can be seen everywhere. Sadly, however, it is often seen dirty and dusty, tattered and torn.

Even public buildings sometimes display a U.S. flag that has frayed and faded.

This day was celebrated as a way to honor the flag, and its proper display is the best way to do that.

Old and tattered flags can be turned in to American Legion posts, which then can dispose of them in an honorable way.

A school teacher in Wisconsin is credited with starting the practice in 1885 that led to Flag Day. B.J. Cigrand had his students celebrate the anniversary of the flag’s official adoption and encouraged others to do the same.

The practice soon spread to the East Coast. By 1894, Illinois joined in the festivities and New York’s governor ordered the flag to be displayed from all public buildings.

President Woodrow Wilson officially recognized Flag Day in a proclamation in 1916, and President Harry Truman signed it into law in 1949.

Residents should fly the American flag often and with pride, but be sure to give the flag the respect it deserves.