Flag Day may seem to be an obscure holiday, when compared to bigger holidays like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day. That said, the history of the holiday is still rather interesting. Flag Day is observed on June 14th, which commemorates the day in 1777 when the American flag was officially adopted. Legend has it that Betsy Ross, a seamstress from Philadelphia, was asked by George Washington personally, to sew the first flag, though no actual evidence exists proving this.
It turns out that Flag Day’s Pennsylvania connection doesn’t end there. Pennsylvania is the only state that makes Flag Day an official holiday, and began the practice in 1937.
Flag Day is not a nationally observed holiday, but it was adopted and recognized by the federal government. President Woodrow Wilson, by proclamation in 1916, established the official date as June 14th. The holiday was later established by an act of Congress in 1949, however, its observance is at the discretion of the President.
The American Flag is also interesting since it has gone through so many design changes in the last 239 years. The flag has maintained the thirteen alternating red and white stripes which symbolize valor and purity respectively. In 1818 it was decided that this feature of the flag would not change and would continue to represent the thirteen original colonies. The blue field on the top left of the flag symbolizes vigilance and justice, and each star represents a state. Because of that feature, the flag has needed redesigns many times in the history of the Union, and should Puerto Rico or Washington, D.C. become a state, the flag will alter again.