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Flag Day history, in brief; rules for handling, displaying the Stars and Stripes

| Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 11:00 p.m.
U.S. flag at Point State Park in Downtown Pittsburgh, with Mt. Washington in the background.
U.S. flag at Point State Park in Downtown Pittsburgh, with Mt. Washington in the background.

The United States first celebrated the birthday of its Stars and Stripes in 1877 — the centennial of the Flag Resolution of 1777, in which the Second Continental Congress approved the 13 red-and-white stripes with thirteen stars on a blue field — according to

President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 signed a proclamation making June 14 — the anniversary of the Flag Resolution — a nationally observed event.

Congress in 1949 designated June 14 as National Flag Day.

The U.S. Flag Code is the federal law that spells out how the U.S. flag is to be handled and displayed.

Here are a few things to remember:

• Display from sunrise to sunset; or 24-hours a day if properly illuminated.

• When flown at half-staff, the flag should be hoisted to its peak, then lowered.

• When displayed in a window, the blue field should be to the left of the observer in the street.

• When displayed on a car, affix the staff to the chassis or right fender.

• When covering a casket, the flag field is to be over the head and left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave or touch the ground.

• When stowing the flag, fold it into a triangle. has more information on the National Flag Day and the U.S. Flag Code.

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