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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 6, 1997




Our Nation's flag has always flown in the vanguard of the American journey, reminding us of our proud past and beckoning us into a future full of promise. Its bold colors reflect the courage and exuberance of the American people, and its simple but inspired design symbolizes both the unity and diversity that define our Nation.

Adopted by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, the Stars and Stripes became the official flag of the young United States and a compelling symbol of our new independence. Woven into its folds were the hopes, dreams, and determination of the extraordinary individuals who founded this country -- hopes for a system of government that would honor the rights and dignity of every citizen; dreams that their great experiment in democracy would succeed; and determination to ensure that success, even at the cost of their own lives. Since that time, generations of Americans have invested the flag with their own hopes and dreams. Millions of immigrants, traveling to these shores to flee poverty or oppression, have rejoiced at their first glimpse of the American flag, confident that its promise of freedom, equality, and opportunity would prove true for them and their families.

We have carried Old Glory to places undreamed of by our founders, from the depths of Earth's oceans to the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon. Through conflict and in peace, on missions of exploration and on missions of mercy, the flag has led us wherever our questing spirits have been willing to venture, and whenever America's freedom, security, and values have been threatened.

On Flag Day and during National Flag Week, I encourage all Americans to join me in reflecting on the proud history and profound meaning of our flag. And let us pledge to keep faith with those generations of patriots, both military and civilian, who gave their lives to keep the flag flying over a Nation that is free, strong, and true to our highest ideals.

To commemorate the adoption of our flag, the Congress, by joint resolution approved August 3, 1949 (63 Stat. 492), designated June 14 of each year as "Flag Day" and requested the President to issue an annual proclamation calling for its observance and for the display of the Flag of the United States on all Federal Government buildings. The Congress also requested the President, by joint resolution approved June 9, 1966 (80 Stat. 194), to issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as "National Flag Week" and calling upon all citizens of the United States to display the flag during that week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 1997, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 8, 1997, as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials to display the flag on all Federal Government buildings during that week, and I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places.

I also call upon the people of the United States to observe with pride and all due ceremony those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, also set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211), as a time to honor our Nation, to celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities, and to publicly recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.


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