In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777.
The week of June 14 (June 11–17, 2017; June 10–16, 2018; June 09–15, 2019) is designated as “National Flag Week.” During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all government buildings. Some towns and organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents.
Do some research and see what your town has planned to celebrate the holiday. Or, help your youth celebrate with some simple, fun and age-appropriate activities.
Flag Day Crafts for Cub Scouts
These easy flag day crafts are a great way to get into the patriotic spirit with younger kids. For even more great ideas, visit childfun.com.
Red, white and blue paint
Sheet of paper 2’x3′
On the large sheet of paper, draw outlines for stripes and paint a blue square in the upper left corner. Depending on their age, the children can do this part on their own. Then, have them fill in the bottom stripe by dipping their hands in the red paint and pressing them end to end within the lines of the stripe. Using the white paint, have them make a white stripe just above it the same way. Continue until they have all 13 stripes filled with hand prints. Have the children dip their fingertips in paint and make the “stars” in the blue square.
More to do: Have children make our country’s very first flag the same way and explain why it looks different from the flag we have today.
Cookie Cutter Jello Stars
Star-shaped cookie cutters
Blueberries and vanilla yogurt toppings
First, make the jello in the 9×13 dish. Once it is set, kids can help make jello stars by cutting them out with cookie cutters. They can then use blueberries and vanilla yogurt to decorate.
Give each child 3 paper cups with a tablespoon of frosting inside each cup. Drop food coloring in each cup – 1 red, 1 blue, 1 white. Give each child a popsicle stick and instruct them to mix the food coloring into each cup. Then allow them to design a flag using the frosting on the cracker.
Host a Flag Retirement Ceremony with Older Youth
As the youth-serving organization most closely associated with patriotism, retiring a flag responsibly can be seen as an important duty. This ceremony is a reverent and thought-provoking way to reflect on and celebrate Flag Day.
Burning is the preferred method in the U.S. Flag Code (Section 176), but it’s potentially hazardous to the environment — the very environment Scouts pledge to protect.
So, take these two methods into consideration and discuss with your Boy Scouts or Venturers to decide which method you think is best.
These ideas and more come from Scouting Magazine’s article Four Options for retiring Worn-Out American Flags
Get Help in Your Community
Many units start the flag retirement process by contacting a local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post, Elks Lodge, American Legion post or similar group. Your pack, troop or crew could conduct a small service project in exchange for the group’s helping to retire your flag.
This option ensures the ceremony will be held in a respectful manner by people who know what they’re doing. Your Scouts/Venturers are sure to learn something. However, Your Scouts/Venturers learn better by doing, and this option reduces them to being bystanders.
Recycle the Flag Yourself
At the retirement ceremony, you can cut up your flag using an approved technique that doesn’t cut through the blue star field. When a flag has been cut up, it is no longer officially a flag.
Here is one method:
- Stretch out the corners of the flag.
- Cut the flag in half, vertically — do not cut into the blue star field.
- Place the two halves together and cut in half, horizontally.
- You will have four pieces of flag, one being the blue star field and the other three red and white stripes.
- Put the flag in a container and dispose of it properly.
This method doesn’t introduce hazardous gases into the environment. It is safe enough for anyone who can use scissors, even Cub Scouts, to participate. However, some might consider it less ceremonial. You still have to throw the flag away (though after it’s cut up it’s no longer a flag).
Celebrate as a Neighborhood with a Patriotic Picnic
Not only will the whole family enjoy this one, but the neighbors will love it too! Display the flag prominently and invite friends and family over to celebrate a patriotic backyard picnic. Dressing in red, white and blue, just like on U.S. Independence Day, can add a festive touch to your backyard celebration.
No summer supper is complete without the grill! Pair these burger and hot dog recipes with red, white and blue sides like watermelon, potato salad and blueberries for the perfect patriotic meal.