While the Fourth of July is celebrated as America’s birthday, June 14 is considered the day to celebrate the American flag’s birthday.
The Flag Resolution of 1777 was signed on June 14, making the stars and stripes the official flag of the United States. For decades, the day was unofficially celebrated and in 1916 a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson encouraged even more communities to celebrate that date. But it was President Harry S. Truman signing an Act of Congress in August 1949 that designated June 14 every year as National Flag Day.
The day is important on a local level, too. June 14 is the day Wichita adopted its own flag 85 years ago in 1937. It’s a pretty spectacular flag but, of course, we are biased. So don’t just take our word for it: the Wichita flag came in at No. 6 among 150 city flag designs across the country in a public survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association.
Wichita’s flag may have been created and adopted 85 years ago, but flag fever only took hold in Wichita within the past decade. This was sparked by the communications team at the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce promoting creative ways the Wichita flag was being featured, thereby creating a sense of civic pride in Wichita. Since then, local organization Together Wichita has provided full-size Wichita flags to every school in the Wichita School District (USD 259) and has presented full-size Wichita flags to the city of Wichita, Wichita Police and Wichita Fire Departments.
You have likely seen the red, white and blue banner waving throughout the city, painted on buildings or emblazoned on stickers, T-shirts, mugs and other items. Each element of the flag design symbolizes the spirit of Wichita; we’ve explained the details of the flag, its history and what it means to the city on this webpage.
Wichita small businesses such as Blade & Timber, Cocoa Dolce Chocolates, Delano Barbeque Company, Jax Restaurant & Bar, Nifty Nut House, Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria, Pumphouse, 6S Steakhouse and Ziggy’s Pizza have incorporated the flag into their facades, décor and more. At times during the baseball season, the grass on the field at Riverfront Stadium is cut to depict the Wichita flag and several art installations in and around the stadium use elements of the flag. Even our own Visit Wichita office has a giant Wichita flag mural inside.
When touring Wichita’s murals, you’ll find several incorporating or featuring the city’s flag and countless of the city’s urban art creations feature the flag in various forms.
There are plenty of versions of the flag, many sized so that you can claim your own, too. We call this flag branded merchandise “flag swag” and you’ll find it in most of our Wichita museum gifts shops as well as for sale at local businesses, including Bungalow 26, Generations Antiques, The Health Connection, The Spice Merchant, Urban Interiors, Wichita Screen Printing and The Workroom. Look for specials this month, including 20% off all Wichita flag swag at The Workroom on June 14.
As you celebrate National Flag Day, we hope you’ll enjoy learning about the red, white and blue of the Wichita flag, too.