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SCR-150 Flag Day.(2017-2018)

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SCR150:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 150


Introduced by Senator Gaines

June 06, 2018


Relative to the American flag.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCR 150, as introduced, Gaines. Flag Day.
This measure would recognize National Flag Day on June 14, 2018, honor the 58th anniversary of the flying of the current American flag, and encourage all Californians to celebrate the occasion with appropriate activities.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, For more than two centuries, the American flag has been a banner of hope for generation after generation of Americans and those seeking freedom around the world; and
WHEREAS, The flag is a symbol of a country that has grown from 13 colonies to a united nation of 50 sovereign states of many units becoming one, true to our nation’s motto, e pluribus unum; and
WHEREAS, Continental Congress member Francis Hopkinson designed the first Stars and Stripes. The first flag of the United States was authorized by congressional resolution on June 14, 1777, resolving that it carry 13 stripes, the colors representing hardiness and valor (red), purity and innocence (white), as well as vigilance and perseverance, and that it contain a constellation of 13 white stars on a field of blue to represent justice; and
WHEREAS, Since the first American flag, several congressional acts and Presidential Executive orders have altered the shape, design, and arrangement of the flag, and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state; and
WHEREAS, In 1794, Congress passed an act changing the American flag so that it contained 15 stripes and 15 stars; and
WHEREAS, In 1818, President Monroe signed legislation requiring that the American flag have 13 stripes and a star for each state in the union. Stars for newly added states would be applied to the flag on July 4th of the following year; and
WHEREAS, Flag makers were able to use imaginative designs to accommodate new stars on the flag until 1912, when President Taft issued an Executive order that established rows of stars as the standard design; and
WHEREAS, On June 14, 1885, a 19-year-old Wisconsin schoolteacher named Bernard J. Cigrand, assigned his students essays on the flag and its significance, in commemoration of the congressional resolution of 1777; and
WHEREAS, In 1893, Philadelphia became the first city to celebrate Flag Day, and in the following year, New York was the first state to observe the day; and
WHEREAS, Cigrand’s lifelong effort to bring about national recognition of the day culminated in the issuance of a proclamation by President Wilson on May 30, 1916, calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day; and
WHEREAS, In 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day; and
WHEREAS, The 48-star American flag, represented by the traditional 13 stripes and six rows of eight stars, was the official flag from 1912 until 1959; and
WHEREAS, On January 3, 1959, Alaska was formally granted statehood and the 49-star American flag, represented by the traditional 13 stripes and seven rows of seven stars, became the official flag when it was raised over Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 4, 1959; and
WHEREAS, Hawaii became this country’s 50th state on August 21, 1959, requiring that a new 50-star flag be designed as the official American flag; and
WHEREAS, President Eisenhower unveiled the new 50-star flag on August 21, 1959, at a ceremony commemorating Hawaii’s statehood; and
WHEREAS, The 50-star flag, the current Stars and Stripes, became the official American flag on July 4, 1960, with a design of 13 stripes and 50 stars, represented by five rows of six stars alternating with four rows of five stars; and
WHEREAS, Despite the numerous designs of the American flag, they have all stood for the United States Constitution, the American way of life, our collective past achievements, and our dreams for the future; and
WHEREAS, The United States Flag Code, as adopted by Congress, states, “the flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing,” and this is why we should give the flag our full respect; and
WHEREAS, By Act of Congress, dated June 20, 1985, Public Law 99-54 was passed to recognize the “pause for the Pledge of Allegiance” as part of the celebration of National Flag Day throughout the nation; and
WHEREAS, Flag Day celebrates our nation’s symbol of unity, a representative democracy in a republic, and stands for our country’s devotion to freedom, the rule of law, and equal rights; and
WHEREAS, The American flag has been immortalized in song, including “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa in 1897, “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by George Cohan in 1906, and, of course, our national anthem, “Star-Spangled Banner,” by Francis Scott Key in 1814; and
WHEREAS, Since the founding of our nation, the flag has held a unique place in the hearts of those brave men and women who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces, whereby in each of our nation’s wars examples may be found of soldiers offering their lives not only in defense of our nation, but also in honor of our flag and the principles it embodies; and
WHEREAS, On June 14, 2018, National Flag Day, the 50-star American flag celebrates its 58th anniversary as the official Stars and Stripes, representing the longest period that any fixed flag design has been used; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes June 14, 2018, as Flag Day in California and encourages the citizens of the state to celebrate the symbol of our freedom and remember the hard work and sacrifices that so many made to ensure that freedom; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.