Flag Day became an official national holiday on August 3rd, 1949 after President Truman signed an Act of Congress declaring so. However, Flag Day had been celebrated for several decades before, thanks to the dedication of one primary school teacher, BJ Cigrand.
In 1885, Cigrand celebrated 'Flag Birthday' on the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes. For years after, Cigrand advocated for the observance of a Flag Day on June 14. As a result, many began to observe the unofficial holiday, joining Cigrand in his efforts. However, it was not officially established until May 30, 1916 by the Proclamation of Woodrow Wilson. Even then, it took over 30 years for June 14th to be designated as National Flag Day.
It may have taken upwards of 60 years for Flag Day to become nationally recognized and celebrated after it's initiation in 1885, but that does not shed light on the importance of celebrating this day. Since 1949, the US has come to celebrate an entire Flag Week, keeping flag traditions of our history alive and taking the time to reflect on the foundations of our nation's freedom. Even in today's social climate, we commemorate the flag's adoption and what it took to declare ourselves a free nation.
"The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights. It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life. It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, but of a history." -Woodrow Wilson