Most people know important dates and events in American history : when Columbus set sail for the New World; the establishment of the first colony in Jamestown; Independence Day. Do you know what is important about June 14, 1777? It was on that day that Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. Did you know that on May 30, 1916 President Wilson issued a proclamation announcing a nationwide observance of Flag Day? This proclamation came as a result of years of work by Bernard J. Cigrand, who was a teacher who fervently taught about patriotism, the flag and its significance.

Through the years, the flag has had several different layouts, as our country grew. It has always stood for the same principles.

So can we do on Flag Day to show our continued faith and support of the red, white and blue flag, that has been the recognized symbol of this country?

During Flag Week, beginning on June 14, the president will issue a proclamation urging citizens to fly the American Flag during the entire week.

Government buildings will display the flag.

Proudly display the flag at your home. When the flag is raised on its flag pole remember this week to recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" as a reminder of what the flag represents. The Pledge of Allegiance was originally written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. It has been edited 4 times. The current version is "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Take some time and read to small children the story of Betsy Ross, who was commissioned to sew the first American Flag. Museums around the country may have exhibits to see.

Visit Philadelphia on a vacation, and visit The Betsy Ross House, where it all began. Stop at the Liberty Bell, and be reminded of what our forefathers fought for.

Remember our Veterans, and the sacrifices they have made to protect our flag and our freedom.

Treat the flag with the respect it is due, for it represents everything the United States stands for. Upon noticing that a flag is damaged or torn, it should be taken down and replaced.

There is a specific and proper way to fold a flag, that is reserved only for the Flag of the United States.

See the directions below to properly fold the flag.

How to fold the Flag

Step 1: To properly fold the Flag, begin by holding it waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.

Step 2: Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.

Step 3: Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.

Step 4: Make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open (top) edge of the flag.

Step 5: Turn the outer (end) point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.

Step 6: The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner.

Step 7: When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.

When the flag is completely folded it is in the shape of a cocked hat to reminds us of the soldiers who fought with George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under John Paul Jones….as well as every other military person who has served since then to help preserve the rights, freedoms, and privileges we enjoy as American citizens.

Thank you to the US Air Force Academy for their detailed instructions on how to properly fold the United States flag.