21 Activities to Celebrate Flag Day

Flag Day - that American holiday that goes largely unnoticed - the step-child of the patriotic holidays, if you will. 

It's not a popular notion today to honor the American flag is it?

And this is another reason I love homeschooling... we don't have to go along with popular notions about anything. We choose to honor our flag and honor our country and can incorporate that liberally into our children's home education!

After taking our children to visit Washington, DC, it lit a fire in us to incorporate more patriotism into our homeschool. We do this through books, music, and now activities surrounding patriotic days such as Flag Day.

21 Activities to Celebrate Flag Day

The History of the American Flag

Just as our Nation has a fascinating and embattled history, so does her flag. Most of us have heard of the seamstress of our first flag, Betsy Ross. We've seen the flag fly on the moon. And we've recognized its importance of a symbol of unity when we see it at half mast.

Here are some additional interesting facts about the history of our flag:

  • The colors of our flag were designated with the Flag Resolution of 1777.
  • The color red in our flag symbolizes hardiness and valor.
  • The white of the flag symbolizes purity and innocence.
  • The color blue represents vigilance, justice, and perseverance. 
  • Old Glory was the actual name given to an actual single (and very large) flag, last displayed in 2006. 
  • The Star Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key, was actually inspired by a real flag. This flag was flown over Fort McHenry in Baltimore in 1814 during 25 hours of British bombardment. 


The History of Flag Day

In 1777, a Flag Resolution was passed that gave us the American flag we recognize today, with the alternating red and white stripes. Of course, we would grow the number of starts represented as new states were born. 

Several individuals claim first rights regarding the celebration of Flag Day, but the first official Flag Day was established by President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. June 14th, 1949,  President Truman, via an Act of Congress, declared an annual National Flag Day.

21-Days from Flag Day to Independence Day

Flag Day itself actually falls as a single day within National Flag Week. From Flag Day, there are twenty-one days until Independence Day. This period of time is called Honor America Days.

This period of time makes a perfect summer homeschooling activity with a done-for-you theme! Following are 21 Flag Day and Honor America Days activities that you can use with your children. 

No planning in advance is really necessary, you can pick and choose which ones work best for you. However, if you choose to do something every day, your children (and you!) will develop a deeper respect for our nation's heritage and arrive at a new appreciation for Independence Day.

Flag Day Activities

These Flag Day and Honor America Days activities cover a wide range of ages and skill levels. You're the mom- you can choose which ones will work for you, and how to alter them for your own use.

  1. Start an Honor America's Days notebook and add a new fact, drawing, quote, or insight every day. (Use the FREE Flag Day Notebooking Pages!)
  2. Learn how to correctly display the Flag.
  3. Learn how to fold the Flag.
  4. Research to find out the name of the type of study that is used to research flags. Do a word study on it.
  5. Make a Flag Day cake out of cupcakes or another trusted recipe.
  6. With parental guidance, research the internet to discover locations where the American Flag is flown 24 hours per day. Plot these on a map. Record any insights from your research in your notebook.
  7. Color a picture of our Flag. You can choose from many variations during its development. 
  8. Watch Red Skeleton's meaning of the American Flag on video.
  9. Memorize the Preamble to the Constitution.
  10. Research the preambles to the constitutions of each of the fifty states. (This free ebook requires an email opt-in.)
  11. Make a patriotic pin wheel.
  12. Make a tissue paper flag.
  13. Choose a word search or vocabulary printable on Flag Day.
  14. Enjoy some red, white, and blue popcorn.
  15. Research and plan a visit to a parade honoring the Flag or our Nation.
  16. Enjoy an outdoor BBQ with patriotic decorations.
  17. Interview a veteran and ask them about a memory they have about the flag.
  18. Plan to attend a fireworks celebration.
  19. Visit the National Museum of American History's website for a fun quiz on the Flag. How many stars can you collect?
  20. Create your own glossary of flag terms.
  21. Enjoy honoring America with the SQUILT Summer Music Appreciation series! 


However your family decides to celebrate Flag Day, it can be a fun and enjoyable kick-off to summertime!


Resources to Help You Learn About Flag Day

Among the Poppies | A Memorial Day Story

When you're fifteen, the world can seem to be mainly about you. It makes sense. So many changes! But, it's also a time when, if you're brave enough to look up, you might find that the world is about something even bigger. And it just might beckon you to step into it and make a difference. 

Here is a his-story of Memorial Day from across two families, through the eyes of one fifteen year old girl. 

Among the Poppies A Memorial Day Story.png

This post continues our emphasis on STORY in your homeschool - enjoy!

Why does it always rain on holidays?

"Seriously," she thought, "why does it always rain on holidays?" Her grumbling continued as she thought of the upcoming field-trip planned by her parents for this holiday. She just didn't get it. Didn't we just celebrate Veteran's Day? What's the big deal? She'd much rather curl up under her blanket today and read. 

But, no. The entire family would pack up and head to the town square where some kind of flag thing was happening. "It's a flag ceremony," her Dad reminded her. "Raising the U.S. flag quickly to the tops of flagpoles, slowly lowering it to half-mast, and then raising again to its full height at noon. The lowering of the flag at half-mast is meant to give honor to the fallen soldiers who have died for their country over the years. While re-raising the flag is meant to symbolize the resolve of the living to carry on the fight for freedom so that the nation's heroes will not have died in vain.", her Dad went on, reading from the website on his smartphone.  Abby just sighed as she thought, "Details." 

She pulled on her rain boots, grabbed her umbrella, and followed the rest of her family to the van. "This is going to be a long day," she said under her breath. 


Why all the crowds?

Abby couldn't believe what she saw. It was standing room only on the town square. And on a holiday, no less! 

She took in the sights, following her parents to seats among the folding chairs. She decided to take the seat towards the end, where she might excuse herself to walk around when this got boring. Which it promised to do. She was promptly asked to leave the end chair open for late-comers. "Great," she thought, "Now I'll be seated next to a total stranger. And they'll want to talk. About this." 

It wasn't long before the seat was taken. But, to her surprise, the person who took the chair look to be her age. She was quiet and held a piece of paper and a small bouquet of red poppies. Her curiosity was piqued. The girl was solemn. And she seemed to be alone. 


Red Poppies

The scene continued to interest Abby. Because of the red poppies her seat neighbor held, she now noticed them worn on many lapels. Another curiosity. After many speakers, older men recounting lost friends or family, the girl next to her stood and went to the podium. 

She took the paper she'd held in her hands and began to read. It seemed to Abby that she could do little else, for tears came down the girls face. In a brave voice, the girl read a brief statement, "I am here today to honor my father, Chief Warrant Officer Michael O'Riley. He was killed in combat in Mosul on April 21, 2015. My hero." 

She proceeded to read this poem:

In Flanders Fields



In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

    That mark our place; and in the sky

    The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

        In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

    The torch; be yours to hold it high.

    If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

        In Flanders fields.


Something bigger

Abby now knew what Memorial Day meant. It meant sharing more than just the history of a long-forgotten war. It was the mutual sharing and remembering of the sacrifices experienced by those who serve. And their families left behind.

She pondered, for the first time, what the word serve meant. Then, she turned around in her mind that those in the military are often called "in the Service." Because, to her, service meant there was someone who was served. She wiped her eyes. There, among the poppies, she realized she was the one served.

Note Bene

Often our children have trouble making the connection between the holidays we celebrate and their true meanings.

It's easy to get Veteran's Day, Independence Day, and Memorial Day mixed-up. Even for adults! What is a holiday, anyway?

It's a marker that honors an event that a nation, church, or individual wishes to recall.

Beyond using the poem above for copy and memory work, following are links and ways to help keep Memorial Day well (and separate from Veteran's Day). 


Homeschool Tips to Celebrate Memorial Day

Seven Kid Friendly Memorial Day Activities

God's Chapel - God's Nation: Remembering 9/11

Red Poppy Craft

Free Memorial Day Unit Study


Recommended resources:

Use these books to help learn about Memorial Day and the importance of sacrifice. There are recommendations for all ages.

Sometimes we haven't been able to do a full-fledged study of a holiday, but adding some books has been sufficient!

A Memorial Day Memory: Memorial Day Picture Book for Children which includes a Memorial Day ParadeJohnny TremainThe Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to VeteransDon't Forget, God Bless Our TroopsH is for Honor: A Military Family AlphabetThe Wall (Reading Rainbow Books)What the Baby SawThe Red Badge of CourageThe Things They CarriedCatch-22: 50th Anniversary EditionMemorial Day (Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme)