Flag Day (June 14) Is Kane County's Very Own National Event

Flag Day (June 14) Is Kane County’s Very Own National Event

OK, when the nation honors Flag Day on June 14, we can all thank a gentleman from Kane County, IL, for coming up with the “Grand Idea.”

Dr. Bernard Cigrand, the “father of Flag Day,” had ties to both Batavia and Aurora and there are still places to visit locally that commemorate his contributions to American culture.

Bernard CigrandBorn in Wisconsin to parents who immigrated from Luxembourg, he early on developed a love of the American flag and at the age of 19, teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Wisconsin, he began his campaign to have a special day set aside to honor the flag, which was adopted by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.  He spent the next 30 years of his life writing and speaking on the topic and was rewarded by the adoption of the observance by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.  The proclamation became law in 1949.

He put himself through dental school in Chicago and later taught dentistry and became dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Dentistry.  He moved to Batavia in 1913 and practiced dentistry there before moving to Aurora in 1919.  He died suddenly of a heart attack in 1932.

His homes and his Aurora office building still stand and Blackberry Farm in Aurora has a mockup of his office in the Streets of Aurora exhibit.  Several years ago the Luxembourg American Cultural Society donated a bronze bust of Cigrand which is also located at the park.

The city of Dearborn, MI, celebrates Flag Day by burning flags. That’s in the proper and respectful way to dispose of flags, by the way. Here’s an article we posted awhile back on how to properly display and dispose the American flag.

This is 99th anniversary of Flag Day — its 100th year, notes George H. Sheetz of the Batavia Public Library, and something to celebrate.

“Since the first Flag Day was celebrated in 1916 with the Presidential proclamation that established it, this year (2015) was the 100th annual celebration of Flag Day … The good news, for everyone who missed the unique opportunity to celebrate the 100th annual Flag Day, is that this year was the 99th anniversary of the first Flag Day. And next year is the 100th anniversary of the first Flag Day.”

Here’s what’s happening for Flag Day 2105:

Flag Day Lecture in Aurora

Flag Day and the man who enshrined it in American culture, Dr. Bernard Cigrand of Aurora, will be saluted at a Sundays in the Parlor lecture at the Aurora Historical Society’s Tanner House Museum on June 14, 2015. “Dr. Cigrand’s Grand Idea”, by Historical Society Executive Director John Jaros, will begin at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person, or $3 for society members. Space is limited, so please reserve by calling 630-906-0650 and leaving a message.  Free tours of the house will be given at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. (donations appreciated).  The museum is located at 305 Cedar Street in Aurora, 60506.

Batavia Flag Day Ice Cream Social

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 3.07.56 PMEnjoy some delicious Batavia Creamery ice cream with your family, friends and neighbors, and listen to some wonderful music performed by the Batavia Community Band, Mr. John Ivan (international performer and award-winning guitarist and songwriter), and talented student performers on the stage of the Peg Bond Center. This event will help raise funds for the July 4 Sky Concert fireworks show in Batavia, and serve as the kickoff to the year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of Flag Day

  • WHEN: Sunday, June 14, 4-7pm
    WHERE: Batavia Riverwalk (by City Hall) 100 North Island Avenue, Batavia
  • MORE INFO: click here

Flag Day Weekend Concerts

The Fox Valley Festival Chorus under the direction of Mary Beth McCarthy is planning special concerts June 13 and 14 to celebrate Flag Day and honor veterans who have served in American wars through patriotic music as well as music that was popular at home during war times.

In addition to these selections, members of the Chorus will be performing Mark Hayes’ Requiem, accompanied by Bonnie Werthmann, which many of the members of the Chorus performed at Lincoln Center in New York City under the direction of the composer himself on Memorial Day weekend.  This Midwest premiere of the Requiem will feature baritone soloist Warren Moulten, one of “The Other Three Tenors.”

This is the second trip to New York for the Chorus during McCarthy’s tenure.  On Memorial Day 2013, the Chorus performed John Rutter’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall.

Veterans will be honored in two ways during the concerts.  The familiar military service anthems associated with each branch of the Armed Forces will be sung, and audience members will have the opportunity to have veterans’ names read.  The Chorus will be making a donation to the Wounded Warriors Project in these veterans’ names.  Original works by Geneva composer Peter Mitchell will honor Vietnam and Korean War veterans.

Two very different concert styles are planned.

On Saturday, June 13, at 3 p.m., a more casual concert at the Oswego Senior Center, 156 E. Washington Street, Oswego, Illinois, will be followed by a meal consisting of traditional American picnic food.  Reservations for the Oswego concert and meal need to be ordered by Tuesday, June 9, and are available by calling the Oswego Senior Center at 630-554-5602.  Prices are $15 for Adults /Seniors and $7 for those 12 and under.  A limited number of concert only tickets will be sold at the door for $12 for adults and seniors and $5 for those under 12.  For additional information about the Oswego concert contact the Senior Center or the Fox Valley Festival Chorus at foxvalleyfc.org

On Sunday, June 14, at 3 p.m., a more formal concert will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 N. Edgelawn Drive, Aurora, Illinois.  This concert will be followed by a reception featuring treats representing America as the great “melting pot,” a quilt raffle, and a small silent auction consisting of services offered by members of the Chorus.  Tickets for the Aurora concert will be available at the door or from Chorus members and are $12 for adults, $10 for ages 65 and up and $5 for ages 12 and under.  Additional information is available from www.foxvalleyfc.org or foxvalleyfc@gmail.com