Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov,
MOINES) –The State Historical Museum will celebrate Flag Day June 14 with Battle Flag laboratory tours and a wide variety of family-friendly activities.
Tours of the Museum’s Battle Flag Laboratory will be offered at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Registration and ticket purchases must be made by 3 p.m. on June 13 through the Museum Store at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines or at 515-281-5111. Tickets are $10, a 50 percent discount in honor of Flag Day.
Other activities include Reproduction Flags on display for viewing; a large screen television program about the conservation process on Civil War Battle Flags; and several hands-on opportunities for children and their families.
The history of Flag Day dates to June 14, 1777, when John Adams spoke of the flag during an address of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Penn.
He described the flag as “Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternating in red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
It wasn’t until 1885, however, that a flag day was actively promoted by Bernard Cigrand of Waubeka, Wisconsin.
He worked for many years promoting the need for an annual observance of the 1777 adoption of the flag of the United States. He promoted this idea through speeches, newspaper articles and through his influence as the editor of the American Standard magazine.
In June 1894, children from the public school system in Chicago, Illinois celebrated Flag Day in local parks. The observance of Flag Day has grown from that early start to commonly include displaying stylized versions of the National Flag in front of homes and businesses.
President Harry Truman signed legislation in 1949 making Flag Day a national observance.
The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.
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