After three decades of state and local celebrations, many of which were sponsored by Elks Lodges, President Woodrow Wilson, on May 301916, officially established June 14 as Flag Day. Finally, on August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman, a member of the Order, permanently designated June 14 as Flag Day by signing an act of Congress.

     Patriotism has characterized the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America since the early days of the organization. Allegiance to the flag of our country is a requirement of every member. In 1907, the Grand Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks designated, by resolution, June 14 as Flag Day. The Grand Lodge of the Order adopted mandatory observance of the occasion by every Lodge in 1911, and that requirement continues. The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order's observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression.

     But it was not until 1949 when President Harry Truman, himself a member of the Elks, made the proclamation that thereafter June 14 would be a day of national observance for the symbol of our country. It was through his Elks Lodge in Independence, Missouri, that President Truman got the idea for a national observance of Flag Day.

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