Friday is the day we salute the Stars and Stripes.

Just what is Flag Day, and when did it start? Some say the origins date back to 1885 when a Wisconsin schoolteacher had her students to observe June 14 as Flag Day to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the adopting of the first U.S. flag.

In 1889 similar celebrations were held in New York City, and in 1891 in Philadelphia.

In August 1949 President Truman formally signed the federal proclamation making June 14 the official Flag Day of the United States.

Some surprising DON'Ts with the flag include:

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.

Also, the flag, when lowered from a pole or any other display device, should never touch the ground.

So scoot up to your favorite store tonight if you don't have a flag, and proudly display it Friday for Flag Day!