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 Research Papers


Today is:

Flag Day in Kearney

from:  <>

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.
Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though on June 14, 1937, Rennerdale, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday.

from:  Kearney HUB

May 1893 – Boston people proposed that June 14 be adopted as “Flag Day” since that is the day the Colonial Congress adopted the American flag, and that it wave form every house top on that day.

June 14, 1894 – Mr. Osborne ran the flag up on top the opera house. The Hub thought maybe he had removed an extra page from his calendar and thought it was July 4. But Osborne said this was a common practice in the New England states and June 14 will undoubtedly be declared a national holiday. He was appointed as a committee of one to work up a celebration for June 14, 1895.

July 2, 1894 – Iowa set Aug. 10 as flag day

April 4, 1895 – What is the GAR going to do about flag day? Several Nebraska cities will be observing the day

Apr 22, 1895 – In answer to a correspondent’s question, When is Flag Day? The Hub explained the date and why. Then went on to explain that the first celebration of any extent was in 1894 promoted by the American Flag Assoc. Chicago took the lead making it a holiday. 200,000 school children participated in exercises. Not a legal holiday yet but 1895 would be the 118th anniversary of its adoption.

May 21, 1895 – At an open session of the GAR the evening before, it was suggested that they take the lead in a Flag Day observation with a “grand war song and flag day concert.” A committee was appointed to get it done.

June 13, 1895 – Granddaughter of Francis Scott Key was dismissed from a government clerk’s job. She was supporting her 80 year old blind mother. Not good timing by the government.

June 19, 1895 – Sidney was the only town in Nebraska to celebrate flag day,

June 15, 1898 – [with national news] – there is a general lack of knowledge about ”flag day” and it is celebrated at various times.

Jan 1, 1900 – in the annual list of events of the previous year June 14 was listed as “General celebration of Flag Day”.

April 24, 1900 – May 1 Flag Day observance planned in Lincoln. Parade to begin with a living flag of 250 persons. Dressed in red & white for the stripes, 13 in blue at forward right, each with white star on his/her head. Followed by “impersonators” [reenactors] of the general and soldiers of every war – revolutionary, 1812, Mexican, Civil, Spanish/Am [those would not be reenactors] ending with thousands of school children (upper elementary) with flags. End at university campus for unveiling of Spanish cannon.

April 28, 2009 – Moses Sydenham to give a lecture on the evening of May 1 on the flag and remembrances of his time at Ft. Kearny:
“He will tell of the first telegraph office in the county in the private room of his post office, when the first news came for the pony express of the firing on the flag at Ft. Sumter, the spiking of the Fort Kearney guns by a democratic commander who deserted; of insults to our brave soldiers and the flag by democratic politicians, and the defense of the flag; and the democratic hiss to General Sherman at old Fort Kearney City that caused the abandonment of Fort Kearney.”

[unfortunately there is no report on his speech reported on May 2]

June 14, 1901 – “Flag Day is June 14. It is celebrated in some parts of the country and will doubtless in time become a day of general patriotic celebrations.”

Dec. 6, 1901 – Governor Ezra Pound declared Dec 20, 1901 to be Louisiana Purchase Flag Day. This was the 98th anniversary of the purchase.

June 9, 1902 – NE Gov. Savage proclaimed June 14 Flag Day in Nebraska and that it “be observed in a proper manner throughout Nebraska, with patriotic exercises and a general display of Old Glory.”

June 14, 1902 – “Some people were wondering today why there were so many flags flying. It is Flag Day.”

June 16, 1902 – “Members of the Sedgwick W. R. C. met at the cemetery June 14, Flag Day, and decorated the graves of their deceased sisters.”

May 23, 1903 – Gov. Mickey set Monday June 15 as Flag Day in Nebraska.

June 13, 1903 – Congregational Church to observe Children’s Day and Flag Day in their morning and evening services.

June 4 & 11, 1904 – Gov. Mickey again proclaimed June 14 Flag Day.

June 15, 1904 – The Sedgwick #1 W. R. C. celebrated Flag Day at city hall the previous afternoon with a patriotic program. The only formal program in the city but there were many flags displayed throughout town.

May 12, 1905 - Gov. Mickey again proclaimed June 14 Flag Day

June 14, 1905 – few flags flying.

June 2, 1906 – Ravenna celebrated Flag Day on June 1

June 9, 1906 - Gov. Mickey again proclaimed June 14 Flag Day

June 15, 1906 - The Sedgwick #1 W. R. C. celebrated Flag Day at the home of their president, Mrs. Effie Boltin.

June 12, 1912 – Post Phil Kearney GAR WRC was to meet on June 14 so they were planning to observe Flag Day then.

June 11, 1908 – Smith Gavitt post GAR WRC were to meet June 13 when they would observe Flag Day and then go to the cemetery to decorate graves of deceased sisters.

Gov. Sheldon proclaimed June 14 Flag Day.

June 15, 1908 – Old members of the Sedgwick GAR and WRC gathered at someone’s home and had a flag day program

June 4, 1909 - Gov. Shallenberger proclaimed June 14 Flag Day

June 14, 1909 – Many flags, no formal programs

June 14, 1910 – “display of flags everywhere” in Kearney

June 15, 1911 – the Sedgwick and Smith Gavitt GAR WRC had a combined meeting to celebrate Flag Day

June 16, 1911 – Norris Brown National Guard was worshiping at the Congregational Church June 18 to observe Flag Day. The GARs were invited also.

June 12, 1912 – Gov. Aldrich proclaimed June 14 Flag Day

June 14 & 15, 1912 – Congregationalists were to observe Flag Day

June 22, 1912 – Members of Sedgwick GAR WRC met at the home of a member and celebrated Flag Day with their program

June 10 & 13, 1913 – Gov. Moorhead proclaimed June 14 Flag Day

June 21, 1913 – GAR women observed Flag Day at their meeting

June15, 1914 – GAR women again

June 3, 1915 – Gov. Moorhead proclaimed June 14 Flag Day

June 14, 1915 – flags were flown in Kearney

June 15, 1915 – Sedgwick GAR had a Flag Day program at their hall yesterday

May 31, 1916 – Pres. Wilson proclaimed June 14 Flag Day

June 3, 1916 – Plans nationwide to make Flag Day a big celebration.
Lincoln Highway Association planned to place flags all along the route from Boston to San Francisco

In Kearney the Commercial Club was in charge of plans. A flag was to fly from every house top.

June 9, 1916 – 8th grade graduation was to be held the afternoon of June 14 at the Methodist Church. Their program was to be part of the Flag Day celebration in Kearney.

June 10, 1916 – The full company of the Kearney National Guard, including members who live along the highline, were to be in Kearney for Flag Day.

June 10, 1916 – to be the biggest celebration in Kearney ever. 1500 people to be in the parade and the program to be held at Longfellow afterward.

(June 10 & 13) Parade to form at 2:30 – no later than 2:45 – on west 25th. Go east past soldier’s monument, saluting as they go by, turn south down Central to 22nd, west to Longfellow. City officials, 4 bands, GAR men & women, National Guard, entire normal school student body and faculty, boy scouts and boys on decorated wheels, Sunday School children with flags, citizens and autos [anyone else who wanted to get in their car and join in]

June 12, 1916 (Monday) – 8th grad exams are Wednesday afternoon so the Co. Superintendent issued a call for all country school children to come and join the parade. That would increase parade participation by several hundred.

June 13, 1916 – The 19th Century Club arranged for 50 young ladies to march in the parade representing all the states and territories. There would also be a Miss Liberty and an Uncle Sam.

The head of the parade which will form on west 25th will start at the Normal School.

8th grade graduation to be at 2 pm at the high school instead of the Methodist church so they have time to participate in the parade.

All businesses were asked to close at 3:25 and remain closed until Flag Day events were over.

June 15, 1916 – one feature of the parade was the young ladies from the normal school dressed to represent the stripes and “starry” field of the flag.

The celebration went as planned. The school ground was crowded for the program [all done without a P A system]

June 9, 1917 – Elks to celebrate Flag Day with a program. Same happening nationwide.

June 13, 1917 – reminder of Flag Day. No program planned but all encouraged to display the flag.

June 15, 1917 – Rob Morris Lodge installed officers and had a flag day program last night.

March 30, 1918 – Apr. 4 declared Flag Day. All in Kearney were encouraged to display the flag, and wear it, and decorate their cars. Schools would have flag exercises in their rooms. Boy Scouts were to see that all houses had a flag to display and if they didn’t, refer them to a committee who would loan the one.

April 3, 1918 – Boy Scouts were to visit all homes not displaying a flag to find out why.

April 5, 1918 (Friday) – People in Kearney were asked to keep the flags flying till after Saturday, which is Liberty Loan day, a legal holiday in some communities but not in Kearney where businesses would be open.

June 13, 1918 – Flag Day, a national holiday. No formal ceremonies in Kearney but all are requested to display the flag.

Flag Rules –
Always have the flag hung well above the ground, never lower than a person sitting.
Flag should be kept above your head at all times.
Never used for draping, bunting is made for that
Tattered flags, unless historically important, should be destroyed privately and replaced.
Never used to drape a table publically
Never used as wearing apparel
[Nothing about which side the stars should be on when hung]

June 12, 1919 (Thursday) – On Flag Day the Elks and Boy Scouts were planning a combined program and a parade. Rev. Keeve was giving a Flag Day sermon on Sunday

June 16, 1919 – The parade consisted of a squad of Boy Scouts and eight Elks.

June 12, 1920 – Flag Day will be observed by various schools and lodges.

June 15, 1920 – The Elks observed the day.

June 13, 1921 – Citizens encouraged to unfurl their flags on June 14

June 17, 1921 – Elks to observe Flag Day at their next meeting

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Revised: 05/15/2011