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 Bernard J. Cigrand

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Bernard J. Cigrand

  • Birth 1 Oct 1866 Waubeka, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, USA
  • Death 16 May 1932 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Montgomery, Kane County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 15399374

Patriot who established Flag Day as an American holiday. Bernard Cigrand was first and foremost an American patriot. From the 1880s through the 1930s he preached respect and honor for the nation and its flag. In 1885, young, teenaged Cigrand entered dental college later that year, mixing his professional studies with the promotion of the flag. In June 1886, he made his first public proposal for the annual observance of the birth of the flag when he wrote an article entitled "The Fourteenth of June" for the Chicago newspaper, Argus. In June of 1888, while Cigrand was graduating first in his class from dental college, he addressed a patriotic Chicago organization, the "Sons of America." In his speech he emphasized the good that would come from a flag holiday. In response, the organization began publishing a magazine called the "American Standard" to inculcate reverence for American emblems, and appointed Cigrand its editor-in-chief. Cigrand's articles in this magazine helped direct public attention to the American Flag and to its birth date. In the years that followed, Cigrand authored hundreds of other magazine and newspaper articles advocating recognition of the June 14th adoption of the Stars and Stripes. In 1894, during the third Saturday in June, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day was held in Chicago, in five city parks with more than 300,000 children participating. These observances were held in the same five parks again the next year, again on the third Saturday of June. In the years that followed, 36 Governors, scores of mayors and five Presidents of the United States all sent delegates, agreeing that Flag Day should be observed in all states of the Union on the actual June 14 anniversary of the official adoption of the flag. By 1916 flag ceremonies on June 14 had become so prevalent that President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing Flag Day as an annual national event, but not as an official day of recognition. Cigrand died of a sudden heart attack on May 16, 1932, not living to see his idea become reality. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman finally signed the legislation making June 14th the officially designated Flag Day.

Bio by: DHM

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: DHM
  • Added: 17 Aug 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15399374
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bernard J. Cigrand (1 Oct 1866–16 May 1932), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15399374, citing Riverside Cemetery, Montgomery, Kane County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .