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It’s Flag Day today (June 14) in the U.S.

The date selected to honor the Stars and Stripes commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.

Perhaps the oldest continuing Flag Day parade is at Fairfield, Washington. Beginning in 1909 or 1910, Fairfield has held a parade every year since, with the possible exception of 1918, and celebrated the “Centennial” parade in 2010, along with some other commemorative events.Quincy, Massachusetts has had an annual Flag Day parade since 1952 and claims it “is the longest-running parade of its kind in the nation.” The largest Flag Day parade is held annually in Troy, New York, which bases its parade on the Quincy parade and typically draws 50,000 spectators. In addition, the Three Oaks, MI Flag Day Parade is held annually on the weekend of Flag Day and is a three-day event and they claim to have the largest flag day parade in the nation as well as the oldest.

The week of June 14 is designated as “National Flag Week.” During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. It is suggested that the flag should also be displayed on all government buildings.

Some organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents. Other organizations and tribal groups hold counter-celebrations and protests.

The National Flag Day Foundation holds an annual observance for Flag Day on the second Sunday in June. The program includes a ceremonial raising of the national flag, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, a parade and more.

The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland birth place of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen his famous poem, has celebrated Flag Day since the inception of a museum on the property in 1927. The annual celebration commemorates the Star-Spangled Banner and its creator Mary Pickersgill.

The Betsy Ross House has long been the site of Philadelphia’s observance of Flag Day.

We honor the day and what it represents with these musical offerings:

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