President Donald Trump has designated Jan. 20, the date of his own inauguration, as National Day of Patriotic Devotion.
On Jan. 23, the Federal Register published Trump’s proclamation that the date of Jan. 20 is to be recognized as the National Day of Patriotic Devotion. The name echoes a similar proclamation made by former President Woodrow Wilson.
On Jan. 20, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had signaled Trump’s intention to create the new national holiday but had not specified the date, CNBC reports.
“[Trump] signing 3 things: Mattis waiver bill into law, formal nomination 2 Senate & proclamation for nat’l day of patriotism,” Spicer tweeted out.
The proclamation describes the new holiday as a date for national pride.
“A new national pride stirs the American soul and inspires the American heart,” the proclamation states, according to The Atlantic. “We are one people, united by a common destiny and a shared purpose.”
The proclamation asserted that freedom “is the birthright of all Americans, and to preserve that freedom we must maintain faith in our sacred values and heritage … There is no freedom where the people do not believe in it; no law where the people do not follow it; and no peace where the people do not pray for it.”
The proclamation concluded that the new holiday was established “in order to strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country — and to renew the duties of Government to the people.”
The language of the proclamation resembles Trump’s inaugural address, which was reportedly penned by White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Stephen Miller.
“At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other,” Trump said during his inauguration, according to NPR. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”
There is historical precedent for presidents designating certain dates as one-time holidays. In 2004, former President George W. Bush proclaimed June 11 a federal holiday in observance of former President Ronald Reagan’s death. In 2002, Bush designated Sept. 11 as Patriot Day with the support of Congress.
It is also not unprecedented for a new president to proclaim his own inauguration as a holiday. In 2009, Obama had designated his own inauguration as a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation.
The title of National Day of Patriotic Devotion has also been used before through presidential proclamations. Wilson had issued the holiday when the U.S. entered World War I.
Sources: The Atlantic, CNBC, NPR / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr