It’s not a formal federal holiday, and yet today honors an important event in our nation’s history.

It is the date in 1777 that Congress voted to replace the British symbols on our national banner with a blue field of 13 white stars in the upper left corner of the flag, “representing a new constellation,” with 13 alternating red and white stripes, one star and one stripe for each of the 13 original colonies.

Thus, June 14 is Flag Day, the birthday of what Francis Scott Key later commemorated as “The Star-Spangled Banner” in what eventually became our national anthem.

A long-standing story holds that George Washington asked a U.S. Navy flagmaker, Betsy Ross of Philadelphia, to sew the first flag according to a design he gave her.

Whether that’s true or not — and if could be, though most historians credit U.S. Rep. Francis Hopkinson for the design — the flag born 234 years ago today has seen many changes. The flag Key was thrilled to see flying over Ft. McHenry after a British attack in 1814 had 15 stars and 15 stripes, but it was soon realized that adding both stars and stripes whenever a state joined the Union would create an unflyable banner, so the flag reverted to 13 stripes in 1818. The last star was added in 1959 when Hawaii became the 50th state.

So, how to celebrate Old Glory’s birthday? That’s easy: Fly the flag.