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Flag Day in Cape May – the Local Connection

Although the idea for an annual day honoring the Flag is believed to have started in 1885 when a Wisconsin schoolteacher, BJ Cigrand, arranged for the pupils to honor June 14 – which was the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes – as ‘Flag Birthday, ‘ it was Colonel J Granville Leach, whose father Joseph Leach, founded The Cape May Ocean Wave, who as historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution, pressed the mayor of Philadelphia on April 25, 1803 to adopt a resolution requesting the city and all others to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as ‘Flag Day,’ and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.

In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings.

Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.