By the President of the United States of America
There is no greater, more beautiful, and instantly recognizable symbol of our Nation and its ideals, traditions, and values than the flag of the United States. The thirteen stripes of red and white remind us of the courage and steadfastness of those who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to found this great experiment in republican government. The white stars on a field of blue stand for the 13 original colonies that formed the nucleus of the new Nation and the 37 states that have become part of our Nation since then. Those many stars recall the saga of our growth as we spanned a continent. The colors of our flag signify the qualities of the human spirit we Americans cherish: red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice. In recent years, citizen awareness, interest, and appreciation of the flag and its relationship to our American heritage have increased. More American families and businesses are buying and displaying the flag.
Nineteen eighty-six marks the 200th anniversary of the first call for a Federal constitutional convention and the year of rededication of the Statue of Liberty, another mighty symbol of what America means. Let it also be the year we as a people commemorate our flag as the proud banner that the winds of freedom lovingly caress, for which generations of patriots have fought and died—the sign and symbol of a people ruled by a constitution that protects all and enshrines our hopes and our history.
The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 424, has designated 1986 as the "Year of the Flag" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim 1986 the Year of the Flag. To heighten citizen awareness of our flag, I urge all Americans to renew their appreciation of the flag and its relationship to our heritage, through appropriate celebrations honoring the flag.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.