June 14 - Flag Day. Design for American Flag with 50 Stars, By Donald Edwards, 1959
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. Flag Day has been observed in various forms since the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until 1949 when Congress permanently designated June 14th as Flag Day. The image here is one submitted for the new 50-star design of the flag to reflect the admission of Hawaii as the 50th state in 1958. An 1818 law required a new star to be added for each new state admitted to the U.S. The law failed to describe how a new pattern for the stars should be configured so thousands of citizens, especially school children, sent their suggestions for a new flag design to the White House.
The U.S. flag was formally adopted by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. While the first presidential proclamation celebrating flag day was not signed until 1916 and the first congressional legislation wasn’t passed until 1949, Americans still celebrated the birth of our nation’s flag on June 14. In this 1901 cartoon by Clifford Berryman Uncle Sam is celebrating flag day while carrying a large flag and small boy dressed as a sailor.
Flag Day 1901, 6/14/1901, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 6010370)