Is Flag Day a federal holiday? Here’s how it started and what it means

Stuck between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Flag Day often gets overlooked. 

Perhaps not completely ignored, but Flag Day isn’t celebrated as much as other holidays associated with our nation’s beginnings.

The holiday was established by President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916 but failed to be recognized as a federal holiday when it was not included in the 1968 Uniform Holiday Act.

Legislation signed by former President Harry Truman in 1949 proclaimed Flag Day as a national holiday, but it never made the federal list. 

Last week, President Joe Biden declared June 13, 2021 the start of National Flag Week and directed officials to display the flag on all federal government building this week.  

When is Flag Day 2021?

Flag Day is on June 14 every year. In 2021, Flag Day is on Monday.

What is the meaning of Flag Day?

It is the day, 244 years ago, when Congress commemorated Betsy Ross’ creation of the Stars & Stripes as our national flag.

The flag has looked different throughout those years, of course, 27 variations, actually, as America grew through the colonies to the 50 states represented in the white stars today.

Need an American flag replaced?: This Comcast worker has helped replace over 400 tattered American flags

Is Flag Day a federal holiday?

No. Flag Day is not considered to be a federal holiday, but Pennsylvania is the only state that recognizes it as a legal holiday.

New York recognizes the second Sunday of June as Flag Day.

Is mail delivered on Flag Day?

Yes. Since Flag Day is not a federal holiday, mail should be received just like any other day.

Are banks, schools open on Flag Day?

Yes. Much like the mail, students who are still in school should still have class and banks should be operating like any other day since Flag Day is not a federal holiday.

Other Flag Day facts and history

Other interesting facts about the American Flag can be found at the National Flag Foundation website, including:

  • The Red, White and Blue: Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
  • Today’s design: A 17-year-old high school student, Robert G. Heft, of Lancaster, Ohio, submitted the design in a contest in 1958, chosen from more than 1,500 submissions by President Dwight Eisenhower.
  • To the moon: Several flags have made the trip to the moon, not just the one placed by Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Additional Apollo missions, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17, also featured an astronaut placing a flag on the moon.

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