SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge will celebrate Flag Day on June 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lodge. The ceremony is open to the public.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is the only fraternal organization to require a formal observance of Flag Day. In July of 1908, the Elks’ Grand Lodge provided for the annual nationwide observance of Flag Day on the 14th of June each year, making it mandatory for each subordinate Lodge in the Order.

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution stating, “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson officially established June 14 as Flag Day. 

Flag Day was not a national observance until 1949 when President Harry Truman, an Elk member, was inspired through his Lodge in Independence Missouri to sign an act of Congress that dedicated June 14 as Flag Day, according to Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge No. 161. He asked that the people honor our colors by displaying them at their homes or other suitable places.