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Flag Day Began In Buffalo

Photo by Len Schrantz

Her name was Sarah Hinson. She was born, raised and educated in Buffalo and she’s credited with creating the annual observation on June 14th we call Flag Day. 

Hinson began a 30-year teaching career in 1864 at school 31 on Emslie Street until she was appointed principal of the school – a job she held for another 20 years. While she was a teacher – she thought kids should know about the American flag and know what it stands for, so she taught them how to pay respect to the flag by reciting the pledge of allegiance.

On June 14th, 1891, she began the tradition of a formal ceremony of saluting and honoring the flag on the anniversary of the day that the Continental Congress accepted the design of the American flag. Other teachers and schools joined in the tradition in following years and finally it caught on across the country. Flag Day became an official observance under President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

Sarah Hinson died in 1926 – she’s buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery and her grave is marked by a flag pole flying the American flag. On her gravestone are the words – “Sarah Hinson – dedicated teacher who with others gave us Flag Day.”

SOURCE: Buffalo

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