WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today delivered a floor statement in celebration of the life’s work of Dr. Bernard Cigrand of Batavia, Illinois to create a National Flag Day. This year marks 100 years of national observance.
Rep. Hultgren delivered the following prepared remarks:
I rise today to honor the “Father of Flag Day,” Illinois’ Dr. Bernard Cigrand, on its 100th anniversary.
An immigrant and a teacher, Dr. Cigrand believed his students needed a symbol to instill a sense of national identity.
He first celebrated our flag’s birthday with his students on June 14th, 1885—108 years after its official adoption by Congress.
Thus began his life’s work to create a National Flag Day.
He wrote articles for magazines and newspapers. He gave lectures and wrote a book on the flag’s importance.
Soon, schools caught on—more than 100,000 children participated in an Illinois celebration in 1894.
Eventually Dr. Cigrand moved to Batavia, Illinois, opened a dental practice, and remained passionate in his efforts.
Finally in 1916, President Wilson called for a nation-wide observance.
Seventeen years after Dr. Cigrand’s 1932 passing, President Truman signed a law cementing June 14th as National Flag Day.
This 14th of June, the 14th District of Illinois celebrates Dr. Cigrand’s dedication to our nation’s symbol which gives hope and moves hearts throughout the world.