America celebrated Flag Day on Thursday with ceremonies around Middle Tennessee.

Flag Day commemorates the day Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our flag on June 14, 1777.

In Nashville, a celebration at Fort Negley along the Cumberland River drew a crowd, including speakers from both current and retired military members.

James Bachman is a retired Army colonel. Not only did he serve, but his grandfather fought in both World Wars, his daughter is an active military member and his son is a police officer.

“Memories of people we knew, people that served, and when you look at that flag, remember them and the ones that have gone before us,” Bachman said.

The flag on display at Fort Negley for the ceremony had only 35 stars because it was made when there were only 35 states.

In Clarksville, it might not have looked like a salute to Old Glory.

The Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization burned American flags that were worn out or damaged.

The burned flags are ones that are no longer considered serviceable to be flown.

“We try to ensure that the integrity of the flag and the respect and the honor that we have for it continues, even up to its destruction,” said Stacey Hopwood, assistant director of Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization.

The organization collects damaged flags all year for the flag-burning ceremony.

Historians believe the tradition of celebrating the American flag began in the 1800s.

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