President’s Day celebrates the presidents of the United States of America. This holiday is observed on the third Monday in February despite Abraham Lincoln’s birthday being on February 12th while George Washington’s is just ten days later, on February 22nd. Fun Fact: Not just Washington and Lincoln were born in February. William Henry Harrison and Ronald Reagan are also two other presidential February birthdays.
When George Washington was alive in the 1700s, his birthday was celebrated by much of the US, therefore observing it as a holiday. President’s Day was established in 1885 for George Washington since as he was the first President. In 1968 the first attempt to make this a national holiday failed but the second attempt (1971) was successful. Thanks to this, federal offices, schools, and even the post office will be closed to observe Washington’s Birthday, called the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to give workers a three-day weekend.
However, it’s not just Washington who gets all the attention. Some states celebrate Washington, others celebrate Washington and another person, while others celebrate both Washington and Lincoln, like my home state of California.
For President’s Day, you can raise Old Glory in honor of the presidents. It is a great way to show your patriotism and respect for these pioneers in American history. Of course, you can always raise the flag for any president, veteran, or service member you would like to celebrate.
Did you know? In the 1980s, retail stores began to use President’s Day as a marketing opportunity. Since people start to get income tax checks this time of year and many businesses are closed for the holiday, it gave consumers the benefit of time and availability to hit the sales, and the retailers a boost to their after-Christmas slumps.
The Flag of the District of Columbia has three red stars above two red bars with a white background. George Washington’s family coat of arms inspired the flag for Washington, D.C.. The Coat of Arms features the same three red stars above two red bars and the shield is white.
For heraldic reasons, the stars should be called mullets. Washington D.C. was without an official flag and they flew several unofficial flags, such as the flag of the D.C. National Guard. Congress established a commission in 1938 to choose an official and original design. There was a public competition and the submission of Charles A.R. Dunn was chosen. He had first proposed his design in 1921; however, with blue stars or “mullets.”
The flag of Washington, D.C. was first flown on October 23, 1938; however, it did not have widespread usage for another 20 or so years. In 2002, the council for D.C. considered a proposal to change the flag in protest of the District’s lack of voting rights in Congress. The new design would have added the language: “Taxation Without Representation.” Additionally, it would have added the letters “D.C.” to the center star on the flag. The proposal did pass in council; however, it was never signed by then mayor Anthony A. Williams.
In a 2004 poll, the design of the Flag of Washington D.C. was voted the best design among United States city flags by members of the North American Vexillological Association. Previously in 2001, the flag had placed eighth.
The state flag for New Jersey was officially adopted and described in a joint resolution of the legislature in 1896. The colors for the flag were chosen by General George Washington in 1779, after he was headquartered in New Jersey during the Revolutionary war. These were the military colors used by the New Jersey troops. The 1896 resolution reads as follows:
Joint Resolution to Define the State Flag
- BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey: The State flag shall be of buff color, having in the center thereof the arms of the State properly emblazoned thereon.
- The State flag shall be the headquarters flag for the Governor as Commander-in-Chief, but shall not supersede distinctive flags which are or may hereafter be prescribed for different arms of military or naval service of this State.
- This act shall take effect immediately.
In 1965, a law was passed that defines the specific shades of Jersey blue and buff. If you use the Cable color system developed by The Color Association of the United States, Jersey blue is Cable #70087, and buff is Cable #65015.
The flag itself is buff colored and has the state coat of arms in the center, which is where you find the Jersey blue color. The shield has three plows with a horse’s head above it. The two women on the shield represent the goddesses of Liberty and Prosperity which is the state motto. The ribbon on the bottom reads Liberty and Prosperity and includes the year of independence 1776.