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Flag Day. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by John Vachon, 1941 June.

Celebrating the Red, White, and Blue

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In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson established June 14 as Flag Day, to commemorate the 1777 adoption of the “Stars and Stripes” as the national flag of the United States. Flag Day had been celebrated unofficially prior to 1916, as you can see in the first photo below. I recently gathered images from the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division for inclusion in a Flickr album featuring flags, which inspired me to expand my search and mark the occasion of Flag Day.

The images shown here are all retrieved in a search in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) using the search term “flag day.” The first two photos date to earlier Flag Day celebrations:

Post Ofc. Dept. Flag day. Photo by National Photo Company, ca. 1913.

The next images date from the World War II era:

Oswego, New York. United nations heroes in the Flag Day parade during United Nations week. Photo by Marjory Collins, 1943 June.
Flag Day. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by John Vachon, 1941 June.

I will end with a Work Projects Administration (WPA) poster that celebrates both the Elmhurst, Illinois Flag Day festivities and the DuPage County Centennial of 1939:

Elmhurst flag day, June 18, 1939, Du Page County centennial. Poster by Beauparlant, 1939.

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Comments (3)

  1. I absolutely love the 1939 poster. What a gorgeous design! Thanks for sharing the very nice selection of photos.

  2. So beautiful, I love these photographs.

  3. Great selections! And the Flickr set shows such an impressive array of ways to form a flag.

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