If you’re anything like me, you woke up this morning to a calendar reminder that Flag Day is tomorrow, June 14. You probably know as much about Flag Day as I know about JoJo Siwa—I’ve heard of her, know she’s connected to music, but haven’t looked into it much further. But if you’re curious about Flag Day—its origins, who celebrates it, why it exists, and what it means—read on.

What is Flag Day?

Celebrated annually on June 14, Flag Day marks the anniversary of the 1777 Continental Congress decree establishing the design of the American flag: “Resolved: That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day in 1916. In 1949, Harry Truman made it official by signing the observance into law. To amplify patriotism, in 1966, Congress declared the week of June 14 as Flag Week.

Do I Get a Day Off for Flag Day?

Unfortunately, Flag Day doesn’t warrant a day off. Honoring our flag’s design is important, but not enough to close federal offices or banks, so mail is still delivered, and there’s no extended weekend.

Where Did Flag Day Come From?

In 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, an 18-year-old teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, assigned his students an essay about what the American flag means to them. Though Cigrand later left teaching to become a dentist, he spent years lobbying for Flag Day to become a national holiday.

In a 1917 Flag Day speech, President Wilson linked the holiday to the necessity of sending American troops to Europe during World War I. This suggests that Flag Day may have been used to garner public support for the war.

How Do People Celebrate Flag Day?

According to military.com, “Flag Day is celebrated with parades, essay contests, ceremonies, and picnics sponsored by veterans groups, schools, and organizations like the National Flag Day Foundation.” While this sounds festive, many people, including myself, have never attended a Flag Day celebration.

However, in Waubeka, Wisconsin, the birthplace of Flag Day, celebrations include a parade, fireworks, and a musical performance by Eric Barbieri and The Rockin’ Krakens.

Who Designed the American Flag?

While we honor the flag on Flag Day, the identity of its designer remains uncertain. The Continental Congress’ proclamation didn’t specify the exact arrangement of the stripes and stars. Though Betsy Ross is often credited, there is no concrete evidence supporting this claim beyond family lore.

The most likely designer is Francis Hopkinson, a Founding Father, poet, playwright, and musician who also designed the Seal of the United States. In 1780, Hopkinson requested a “quarter cask of the public wine” as payment for designing the flag, but his request was denied because others also contributed to the design and the nation was financially strapped.

Don’t We Celebrate the Flag on July 4? Isn’t That Enough?

July 4 celebrates our nation’s independence and overall greatness. Flag Day specifically celebrates the symbol of our nation’s greatness. Don’t worry about confusing the two—it’s a free country, and there’s no penalty for mixing them up—yet.