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Archive for February 21st, 2011

Presidents’ Day 2011

Monday, February 21st, 2011

All Star Flags encourages all citizens to proudly display their American flags on Monday, February 21, when our country celebrates Presidents’ Day. 

A federal holiday honoring our first President, George Washington, was implemented by an Act of Congress in 1880 for government offices in the District of Columbia, and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices.  It was the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen and was celebrated on Washington’s birthday, February 22.  When the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was enacted in 1971, the federal holiday shifted to the third Monday in February, which meant that the holiday would fall between February 15 and 21, and would never land on Washington’s actual birthday.  Still, the name of the holiday continued to be “Washington’s Birthday”. 

By the mid-1980’s, there was a push from the public – primarily advertisers – to call the holiday “Presidents’ Day” to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln.  However, Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, had never been a federal holiday.   Since that time, “Presidents’ Day” has become the generally accepted name for the holiday.  The holiday is known as a day for great sales at stores.  This may be appropriate, as the original intent of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was to promote business.  Although some school districts close, most colleges and corporations remain open. 

Few Americans may actually celebrate this holiday.  But it would be appropriate to honor the memories of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and acknowledge a federal holiday, by flying one of the greatest symbols of our country.  Fly your own American flag this Monday for everyone to see.