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Proclamation 5988—Flag Day and National Flag Week, 1989

June 07, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

While the American flag has changed through the years, the principles for which it stands have not.

The Stars and Stripes were adopted as our Nation's emblem on June 14, 1777, when the delegates to the Continental Congress resolved "that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." This design captured the character of our fledgling Nation-while each State retained its distinct identity, all were united in the struggle to secure America's freedom and independence. The stars portraying the United States as a new constellation conveyed the shining promise of this land of liberty and opportunity.

Over the years, as more States were formed and added to the Union, the flag changed in appearance. Today, it boasts 50 stars, each representing one of the 50 States. What time and history have not altered are the ideals celebrated by the Stars and Stripes: America's dedication to individual liberty and her respect for the God-given rights of all men. The flag's brilliant colors continue to reflect the diversity of the American people, while its tightly woven fabric recalls our national unity.

As our national emblem, the flag should be treated with reverence. Our regard for the flag is a measure of our respect for the men and women who devoted their lives to this noble experiment in self-government; for the veterans who have carried Old Glory into battle; and for the pioneers who have carried it across the continent, to the ends of the earth, and even into space. When we turn to the flag with head held high and hand over heart, we give due honor to those who have fashioned and defended the great Republic for which it stands.

It is our solemn duty to ensure that the Stars and Stripes remain a symbol of a land that is good and free. We have a responsibility to ensure that generations yet unborn will be able to lift the flag with the same pride and sense of purpose as those who carried it at Yorktown, Gettysburg, Iwo Jima, and in every campaign for peace and liberty around the world. On Flag Day, and during National Flag Week, let us rededicate ourselves to the ideals of our forebears, so that our own children and grandchildren can always look to Old Glory as the emblem of "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

To commemorate the adoption of our flag, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved August 3, 1949 (63 Stat. 492), designated June 14 of each year as Flag Day and requested the President to issue an annual proclamation calling for its observance and for the display of the flag of the United States on all government buildings. The Congress also requested the President, by joint resolution approved June 9, 1966 (80 Stat. 194), to issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week and calling upon all citizens of the United States to display the flag during that week.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 1989, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 11 as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials of the government to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings during that week. I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day, June 14, and Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places.

I also urge the American people to celebrate those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, also set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211), as a time to honor America by having public gatherings and activities at which they can honor their country in an appropriate manner, including publicly reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Signature of George Bush


Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on June 8.

George Bush, Proclamation 5988—Flag Day and National Flag Week, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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