(NEWSnet/AP) – Every year on June 14, the people of Waubeka, Wis., celebrate Flag Day with a community celebration.

Residents of the unincorporated Wisconsin town, about 35 miles north of Milwaukee, takes the day seriously. After all, it lays claim to being the birthplace of Flag Day, thanks to a tenacious teacher in a one-room schoolhouse.

Flag Day commemorates June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress determined the composition of the nation's banner: "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.”

While the observance is common across the country, it’s not an official federal holiday in that government services remain open and the mail is delivered.

The earliest recorded Flag Day involved a patriotic program organized by a man named George Morris. It took place June 14, 1861, in Hartford, Conn.

But apparently, the Connecticut event did not become an annual one.

Then on June 14, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, an 18-year-old Waubeka native teaching at Stony Hill School, put a flag in his inkwell and assigned his students an essay about what the flag means to them. Cigrand left the next year for dental school in Chicago, but he never gave up his advocacy for a national day dedicated to the flag.

President Woodrow Wilson issued a 1916 proclamation of June 14 as Flag Day and in 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the formal observance into law.

Waubeka never forgot Cigrand and in 1946, community leaders established the town's Flag Day celebration, which has run continuously since then.

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