From the desk of Janet Coon, Dental Assistant Department Head:
The Fourth of July is traditionally celebrated as America’s birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for students in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as ‘Flag Birthday’.
BJ Cigrand earned $40.00/month teaching school at Stony Hill and with income from selling books was able to pay his way through dental school. In 1888, he graduated first in his class from Lake Forest College of Dentistry. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as ‘Flag Day’.
In the years that followed, 36 Governors, scores of mayors and five Presidents of the United States sent delegates and credentials agreeing that Flag Day should be observed in all states of the Union on the actual June 14 anniversary of the adoption of the flag. By 1916 flag ceremonies on June 14th had become so prevalent that President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing Flag Day as an annual national event.
So, when June 14th rolls around each year, please give respect to the Stars and Stripes for the freedoms which it represents and consider the perseverance of a Wisconsin dentist that fought for the flag to have its own day.