Army Day 2020: Important Dates, Army Day History, Meaning, American Flag, US Army, Significance

Army Day 2020: Army Day is celebrated In the United States on June 14 and  It is to commemorate the dual occasion of the official adoption of the flag of the United States and the founding of the  U.S. Army. This article will tell you more about the Dates, History, and Origin of the events, Meaning, Significance.

by Suganya Vedham

Updated: Jun 09, 2020 17:38 IST

Army Day 2020: Important Dates, Army Day History, Meaning, American Flag, US Army, Significance

What is Flag Day and Army Day?

June 14 marks two important observances for the United States of America. It is celebrated as both  Flag Day and the US Army’s birthday. The day is an opportunity to learn more about American culture and history, and to appreciate the journey of the country to being one of the most prominent superpowers in the world. It is a day for patriotic expression by paying respects to the flag and to thank Americans in uniform who lay their life on the line to protect the nation. 

What is the History of Flag Day?

The origin of the event traces itself back to when a  resolution passed by the  Second Continental Congress on the resolution of the Second Continental Congress accepted the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States. President Woodrow Wilson went on to proclaim June 14 as Flag Day in the year 1916. The day was later formally accepted by an Act of Congress on August 3, 1949. 

However, the existence of a "Flag Day" was detected earlier in ‘Kansas: a Cyclopedia of State History’ which was released by Standard Publishing Company, Chicago in 1912.  George Morris of Hartford, Connecticut was credited for first observing the event in 1861. The day was observed in the city of Hartford. The celebration included putting up a patriotic program, praying for the Federal arms, and for the long life of the Union. The observance failed to catch on as a tradition until it was upheld by the official authorities. It is to be noted that Flag Day is not declared as an official federal holiday. 

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How is Flag Day celebrated?

The Day sees many enthusiastic events like parades, picnics organized by veterans' groups, ceremonies, and things like essay contests. The  National Flag Day foundation and other institutions like schools also engage people in celebration with the aim of preserving traditions and giving due respect to the nation's symbol, Old Glory. The flag is also prominently displayed on all government buildings. The annual celebration of the National Flag Day foundation includes a ceremony of raising the national flag, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, singing the national anthem,  and a parade.

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What are some facts about the American flag?

 The American national flag consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red, alternating with white, alongside a blue rectangle which holds fifty white coloured, five-pointed stars arranged in nine rows. The 50 stars are a representation of the 50 states of the United States, and the 13 stripes are resonant of the thirteen British colonies which became the first states in the U.S by declaring independence from Great Britain. Other names for the flag are the Stars and Stripes, the Star-Spangled Banner, and Old Glory. The colonists that fought in the American Revolution in 1775 had mostly fought under their own flags. A need was felt by George Washington to create a unifying symbol and hence the national flag was created. 

What is the History of the US Army?

The U.S  Army was created when Congress took a decisive step that transformed a crude rebellion into a fight for independence and established the Continental Army. The U.S. Army was founded on 14 June 1775 when it was felt that a formal organization of the militia members that showed up to fight against the British was necessary. 

The Massachusetts Provincial Government wrote a petition to the Second Continental Congress that the group should be leading the New England troops. The result was the creation of the first army that was led by the commander-in-chief, George Washington. He led a memorable expedition by crossing the Delaware River and attacking a garrison at Trenton.

The Congress went on to enact the Board of War and Ordnance in June 1776, which is recognized by many as the ancestor of the US War Department. The first official training period of the US army military service is supposed to have been held between 1777 and 1778 at Valley Forge. It was conducted by Baron von Steuben, a Prussian military officer. The United States Constitution was signed into law in early 1787. For the Army and it authorized the President to act as Commander-In-Chief of the Army and Navy. The Department of War was established subsequently after two years.

How is Army Day celebrated?

A unique Army Birthday Ball is held to celebrate the renaissance of the U.S. Army. It is celebrated worldwide at military bases, community centers, and other institutions. The Ball is even held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which is one of the most notorious military detention centers in America. Traditionally it is a black-tie formal event and military members wear their full-service dress. There are other traditions connected with the Army Ball; which usually is to pay respect to those who sacrificed during service. It is also to welcome the new members into the establishment.

Army Day Quotes

"When we honor our flag we honor what we stand for as a Nation - freedom, equality, justice, and hope." - Ronald Reagan

"We take the star from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty."  - George Washington.

"Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God."  - George Washington

"A thoughtful mind, when it sees a Nation's flag, sees not the flag only, but the Nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the Government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the Nation that sets it forth."  - Henry Ward Beecher

 “Discipline is the soul of an Army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to all of the weak, and esteem to all.” - George Washington

“The soldier is the Army. No Army is better than its soldiers. The soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.” - George S Patton

“It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it.” - Douglas MacArthur

“Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they have been given.” -  Orson Scott Card, Enders Game

Army Day - FAQ

1. What are the symbols that represent America?

There are numerous symbols that represent the United States of America. Some of the more popular ones are the US flag, the bald eagle,  the Washington Monument, the US Capitol, the White House,  the Lincoln Memorial, the Statue of Liberty,  Mount Rushmore and The Star-Spangled Banner (the national anthem of the USA), amongst many others.

2. What is the reason behind having 7 red stripes and 6 white stripes on the flag?

The 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies. The flag could probably have been made to have seven white and six red stripes, but it may have been decided that the darker color edges were more aesthetically pleasing.

3. How old is the US army?

The United States Army is in reality older than the country itself. It was formed originally to fight the Revolutionary War which took place in 1775 when the early British colonies were battling the British for independence.

4. How many presidents have served in the Army?

Out of the total of the  45 men who have been appointed as president, 31 had a history of military service. Two dozen of them were a part of the state militias, which is now called the National Guard.

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