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Flag Day: a Proclamation. (14 June 1915.)

In expressing admiration for a beautiful landscape, a beautiful picture, a beautiful poem, we often hear the remark, "That is mere sentiment". Take out of human life all sentiment and what would follow? Loyalty to home, loyalty to country, and loyalty to great ideals would perish. The American Flag expresses a sentiment dear to the hearts of all our people. It symbolizes courage, sacrifice, love and human freedom.

What of the future of this Flag? Everything depends upon American ideals. At the present our Flag, the Stars and Stripes, is the hope of the world. This flag is more than a battle flag. It typifies "equal rights to all and special privileges to none"; it means union, co-operation, fellowship, brotherhood. It is therefore important that our youth master the story of this Flag and enthusiastically cherish its teachings. Even in the hands of children it should not be a toy. On Gala Days it should be something more than an ornament for decorating the wheels of automobiles, bicycles motor-cycles; something more than an advertisement for a lemonade or ice-cream stand. The Star Spangled Banner is not a fitting symbol in the hands of fakirs, gamblers and the exploiters of men, women and children. In sacredness it ranks next to the Bible. It should be used to express aspirations for civic righteousness.

Therefore, I, Woodbridge N. Ferris, Governor of Michigan, do issue this Proclamation and enthusiastically urge the observance of Monday, the fourteenth of June, 1915, as Flag Day.

Source: Flag Day Proclamation. Addresses and Writings, Box 6. Woodbridge N. Ferris Papers. University Archives. Ferris State University.