By the President of the United States of America
In 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the young United States of America. Describing the new flag, the Congress wrote, "White signifies Purity and Innocence; Red, Hardiness and Valor; Blue signifies Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice," with the stars forming "a new constellation."
The words of the Continental Congress ring truer to us today than ever before. Wherever the Stars and Stripes are flown, they represent the highest ideals of America: justice, purity, and strength. The flag has flown over smoky battlefields, peaceful demonstrations, and wherever else Americans strive to express their precious freedoms in the face of adversity. Today, in accordance with congressional joint resolutions (63 Stat. 492 and 80 Stat. 194), we set aside June 14 as Flag Day and the week beginning June 13 as National Flag Week to honor the colors and stars that have flown proudly over the United States for 216 years.
Just as we pay our respects to our flag, so must we honor our Nation's Founders, the brave people who inscribed their names on the Declaration of Independence and breathed life into its text. The ideals embodied by the Declaration have served as a guide for our Nation and an inspiration for people around the world. This document delineated the very idea of America, that individual rights are derived not from the generosity of the government, but from the hand of the Almighty. The Founders forever abandoned their allegiance to the old European notions of caste and dedicated themselves to the belief that all people are created equal.
The brilliant men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1776 to declare our Nation's independence risked their honor, their fortunes, and their very lives to create a better future for their children and grandchildren. We, the inheritors of freedom's legacy, owe our liberties to the fact that our Founders saw the need for dramatic change and acted upon it.
Today, vast changes are sweeping the globe. Nations that have known only tyranny for centuries are now dedicating themselves to the ideals of freedom and democracy. And wherever freedom is proclaimed, echoes of the American Declaration of Independence can be heard. Thomas Jefferson's words are being spoken in dozens of nations in hundreds of languages.
We are justly proud of the influence that our beliefs have had on the world. But the mission of America is far from complete. While the world is filled with opportunity, it is rife with uncertainty. We must dedicate ourselves to carrying on the dreams of the Founders and adding our own chapter to the
unfinished American story. By embracing the changes that are altering the landscape of the world today, we help ensure a brighter, more democratic, and more peaceful world. As we celebrate our independence, I encourage all Americans to rededicate themselves to the conviction that our precious freedoms require constant vigilance and reaffirmation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 1993, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 13, 1993, as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials of the government to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings during that week. I encourage all Americans to observe Flag Day and Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places. I also urge the American people to celebrate those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, as set aside by the Congress (89 Stat. 211), as a time to honor America, by having public gatherings and activities at which they can honor and pledge their allegiance to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventeenth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON