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It's Flag Day, but why?

READ MORE: The Rant: June 14, 2011
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Take a look at your calendar, and you know June 14 is Flag Day. But have you ever wondered why? Well, it turns out the history of the day goes back to the earliest days of our nation.

The "Journals of the Continental Congress" show that on June 14, 1777, our Founding Fathers approved the design of a national flag with the words, "Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation."

Of course, we are all familiar with the legend of Betsy Ross. As the story goes, George Washington commissioned the Philadelphia seamstress to create a flag for the fledgling nation. While the story may not be completely true, it is believed Ross and Washington knew each other and that she probably did sew flags. Even today her home in Philadelphia stands as a museum to the origins of the stars and stripes.

As we all know, the flag has changed many times since then with the addition of stars to represent new states. Of course, it eventually reached our current 50.

Flag Day became official in 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing the event on June 14. In 1949 Congressional passed a law signed by President Harry Truman officially designating June 14 as Flag Day.

According to the National Flag Day Foundation, the celebration of Flag Day dates back to June 14, 1885. That's when Wisconsin school teacher Bernard Cigrand a 10-inch flag in a bottle on his desk and assigned his students to write essays on its significance.

For nearly two and a half centuries, the American flag has served as an enduring symbol of freedom and the American spirit.

And so on this Flag Day we pledge allegiance to that grand ol' flag, that star-spangled banner that still flies o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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