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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 14 June

General SchuylerOn this day in 1776, Congress ordered General Schuyler to hold a conference with the Six Nations – Mohawk, Oneida, Tuscarora, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca Indians – to “engage them in our interest upon the best terms that can be procured” as well as to prepare to take post and erect a fortification at Fort Stanwix. 1

In 1775 on this day, Congress resolved that six companies of expert riflemen be raised in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, and that each company march to Boston and join the army presently there. The present-day U.S. Army celebrates this day as the anniversary of the Army’s establishment with the Continental Army. 2

Army birthdayOn this day in 1777, Congress approved the design of a flag. “…the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Since that time there have been 27 different versions of the U.S. flag. On 14 June 1885, Bernard Cigrand, a teacher, had his students observe the day as Flag Birthday. Thereafter Cigrand was a proponent of establishing a national day of observance to the flag. A few American flagyears later, another teacher celebrated the day with his children and the State Board of Education in New York adopted the day as Flag Day. Various individuals and groups started to observe the day as well, including the Betsy Ross House, New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America, and Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane. In 1916, President Wilson officially established Flag Day, but it was not a national holiday until 1949 when President Truman signed an act of Congress establishing 14 June each year as National Flag Day. Court cases have been heard regarding whether or not one must be compelled to salute the U.S. flag. In 1940 the Supreme Court decided the government had the authority to compel respect for the flag as a symbol of national unity; however, in 1943, the Supreme Court reconsidered their previous decision and stated the First Amendment guarantees free speech and denies the federal government the authority to compel any individual to salute the flag or recite the pledge of allegiance. 3

U.S. flag

1 “Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789,” Library of Congress American Memory, memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field(DOCID+@lit(jc00510)); “June 14, 1776,” The Revolution Day By Day, National Park Service, www.nps.gov/revwar/revolution_day_by_day/1776_main.html

2 “Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789,” Library of Congress American Memory, memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field(DOCID+@llit(jc00235)); “238th Army Birthday June 14, 2013,” www.army.mil/birthday/238/

3 “Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789,” Library of Congress American Memory, memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field(DOCID+@lit(jc00822)); “The History of Flag Day,” www.usflag.org/flag.day.html; “Flag Day,” Library of Congress American Memory, memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/today.html

 

 

 

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