Today is Flag Day in the United States. It’s easy to forget, like so many other things, that Old Glory has a birthday. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted what became the American flag. Thirteen stripes of red and white, and stars of white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.
In addition to the patriots who chose the symbol of our republic, we can add a Dentist to their roster. Over one hundred years after the flag’s adoption, Bernard J Cigrand championed the idea of a day to honor the adoption of the flag. Most historians classify him, and his efforts, as being the father of Flag Day.
After thirty years of his advocacy, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day in 1916. Congress made it a law in August of 1949. The Chicago Tribune gave him almost complete credit for the establishment of the day.
This reinforces, not only our patriotic spirit, it showcases that one person can make a difference, through passion and perseverance. A century after men pledged their own blood, reputations, and commitment to the dream of a new nation, Mr Cigrand honored it. This was so important to the educator and dentist, that he spent three decades making it happen.
Like the men who established it, he saw more than material. He saw more than a symbol, he saw the sacrifice of the men and women who fought to uphold its virtues. He remembered the promise of a better tomorrow, where a man from a small town, could inspire a nation to act.
In the makeup of our nation, there are so many like Bernard Cigrand. They may not spring to mind as some names do, but there heart still jumps at the beauty of the red, white, and blue. Happy Flag Day America!