By Léo Azambuja
On June 14, 1885, 19-year-old teacher Bernard J. Cigrand assigned his students at Stony Hill School in Ozaukee County, Wiscosin, to write an essay on the United States flag.
A year later, the young Wisconsin patriot would make a public proposal for the annual observance of the U.S. flag each June 14, the actual anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. flag.
Over the years, Cigrand continued to promote National Flag Day, which grew with the approval of dozens of state governors and a handful of U.S. presidents. In 1916, the June 14 celebrations were so widespread that President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the date as Flag Day.
But it took until 1949 for President Harry Truman to sign legislation properly designating June 14 as Flag Day.
On June 14, 2004, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution recognizing that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Wiscosin.
Burning of the U.S. flag is often used as a form of political protest — protected by the First Amendment — but it is also a proper way of disposing old flags.
The U.S. Flag Code states, “the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”
Charlene Dorsey, Junior Vice Commander of Kaua‘i Veterans Center, said there’s a bin in front of KVC in Lihu‘e, where old flags can be droped off to be respectfully burned.