Thursday, May 31, 2018

Flag Day 2018

On June 14, 1777, the combination of stars and stripes and the colors red, white, and blue, stitched together, according to legend, by Betsy Ross, was adopted by resolution of the Second Continental Congress as our national flag. It wasn't until more than a century later, in 1885, that it occurred to anyone to celebrate the day. It was a schoolteacher in Fredonia, Wisconsin, who first had the idea of having students observe what was then called "Flag Birthday." Now, more than a hundred and thirty years after those simple "patriotic exercises" involving schoolchildren, we in Hudson celebrate Flag Day with a daylong revel on the Saturday closest to June 14, which begins with a ceremony in the morning and ends with fireworks at night, with a parade and a carnival in between.

Today, just nine days before the event, the Register-Star reports that the Flag Day celebration is $5,000 short of the $47,000 required to stage the celebration: "Flag Day Committee calls on support from local community." In the past, Flag Day regularly received $3,000 or more from the $20,000 allocated in the city budget to support events and festivals. This year, because the Arts, Entertainment & Tourism Committee was abolished at the beginning of the year, and it took four months to decide if and how the $20,000 would be distributed, applications for a share of that money aren't due until June 15, a week after the Flag Day celebration happens, and decisions won't be made until Tuesday, June 26. The Flag Day Committee would certainly be in a better position in meeting its budget if the Common Council had made and announced its awards in a more timely manner.

On the topic of Flag Day, you can get a head start on Saturday's festivities on Thursday, June 7, by attending a presentation by the Hudson Elk's Lodge 787 at the Hudson Area Library called "Know Your Flag: History of the American Flag & Flag Day." 

Photo: Carmine Ciancetti Collection, Hudson Area Library History Room
The event will feature a display of American flags throughout history, information on how to care for, display, and dispose of a flag, instructions in proper flag folding techniques, vintage photographs of Flag Day parades in Hudson, and a special American flag cake.

The event takes place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hudson Area Library, 51 North Fifth Street. It is free and open to the public.

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