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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today is Flag Day, marking the adoption of the American flag by the Continental Congress in the First Flag Act on June 14, 1777. The Act declared that the new flag would have "13 stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

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Today's Random Fact:

Though Flag Day is observed nationwide, it is not a federal holiday. Pennsylvania is the only state to establish June 14 as a state holiday for Flag Day. New York also designates the second Sunday in June every year as a state holiday for Flag Day.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially establishing June 14 as Flag Day with actual legislation signed by President Harry Truman in 1949 proclaiming June 14 as Flag Day. Nonetheless, despite repeated attempts by advocates, Flag Day was never officially established as a federal holiday.

Bonus Fact:

The flag didn't always have 13 stripes. In 1794, two extra stars and stripes were added to honor Kentucky and Vermont joining the Union. More than 20 years later - after concerns about having to keep adding stars and stripes - it was officially decided to just have 13 stripes (but to keep adding stars whenever another state joined).

The current star pattern on the flag was designed in 1958 by then 17-year-old student Robert G. Heft for a history project. The design was ultimately submitted to Congress and accepted by President Eisenhower.

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