The beautiful flag ceremonies that were once understood by every Brownie and Scout are rarely performed except at official functions.

It was once considered scandalous to wear flags or flag patterns on clothing, but today Old Glory has evolved. It’s part of the popular culture now and people wear the stars and stripes on hats, shirts and jackets to celebrate every patriotic holiday.

Flag Day, June 14th, offers a chance to display the flag and to learn its traditional ceremonies and history.

The Continental Congress established the first flag on June 14, 1777. In 1949, President Truman officially declared June 14 as Flag Day. Today, our flag has 13 alternate red and white horizontal stripes representing hardiness and valor, and 50 while stars, representing our 50 states, on a blue field symbolizing vigilance, perseverance and justice.

In ceremonial and official settings, our flag is flown only between dawn and dusk and never in inclement weather. If flown at night, as on some high buildings, it should be spotlighted. It is flown vertically, with the stars and blue field at the top and to the viewer’s left. It should never be allowed to touch the ground and never be dipped toward any person or object. When it is raised or lowered in a public ceremony, or passes by in a parade or review, we should face the flag and place our right hand over our heart.

Even if you don’t get a chance to see a flag ceremony this flag day, take the time to wave Old Glory in honor of our freedom. Reaffirm our loyalty to our nation, to its beliefs in liberty and justice, and to its unity as one nation, under God, indivisible.