The Birth of the American Flag
The Birth of the American Flag
What's the Month of June all About
 
     June was most likely named for the goddess Juno, the patroness of marriage and childbirth. This month brings beauty in all forms, from flowers to sunlight.
     Juno is the ancient Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth. And the month of June is still a popular month for weddings today! As a natural extension of marriage, Juno was also the goddess of childbirth. Another interpretation of the origins of “June” says that the name came from the Latin juvenis, “young people,” who were celebrated at this time.
     Juno, in Roman religion, was the chief goddess and female counterpart of Jupiter, similar to the relationship between the Greek Hera and Zeus. Perhaps not surprisingly given her role of protector of women and children, this powerful queen of the gods was also considered the fierce protector and special counselor of the state and a guardian angel warning those in times of danger.
     What we know fondly as the “Stars and Stripes” was adopted by the Continental Congress as the official American flag on June 14, 1777, in the midst of the Revolutionary War. Colonial troops fought under many different flags with various symbols - rattlesnakes, pine trees, and eagles - and slogans - ”Don’t Tread on Me,” “Liberty or Death,” and “Conquer or Die,” to name a few.
     The Declaration of Independence made the adoption of an American flag necessary. Previously, each colony or special interest had its own flag.
     June 19th we celebrate Dads! The first known Father’s Day service occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908, after hundreds of men died in the worst mining accident in U.S. history. The Sunday service happened because of the efforts of Grace Golden Clayton, the daughter of a dedicated reverend.
     While missing her own dad, who had died in 1896, Mrs. Clayton wanted to honor the many fathers who had died in the mining explosion, which killed more than 360 men and boys, and left about 1,000 children fatherless. Although the Fairmont service was the first known to honor fathers, it did not turn into an annual event, nor was the idea promoted. 
     In spite of widespread support, Father’s Day did not become a permanent national holiday for many years. The first bill was introduced in Congress in 1913, but in spite of encouragement by President Woodrow Wilson, it did not pass. In 1966, Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation designating the third Sunday in June to honor fathers.
     Finally, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a law declaring that Father’s Day be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. It has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since.
     June holds many more stories but I hope this will give you something to think about. Have a blessed summer.
 

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