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The 64th Annual Appleton Flag Day Parade will be held on June 14, 2014, and will be a tribute to the U.S. Marines and will honor the many faces of freedom. The Honorary Parade Marshal will be a high-ranking Marine officer.

The Parade will feature military units and military marching bands from throughout the nation — and will include about 100 total units displaying patriotic themes. Units will consist of veterans' organizations, scout troops, patriotic floats, decorated vehicles, walking units, along with marching bands. 

Girl with US Flag


This year's parade will highlight the United States Marine Corps, and honor the many faces of freedom

Date/Time: June 14, 2014
Saturday, Begins at 2 p.m., expected to conclude at 4:30 p.m.

The Parade will follow its traditional route

This year's Flag Day Parade will use the traditional staging area and route.  
For details and a map, see the Route page.

Parade Grand Marshal

Child with sunglasses and US flag Each year the City of Appleton Flag Day Parade’s Grand Marshal is the American Flag. "Old Glory" rides in the Parade's lead vehicle to kickoff the oldest Flag Day Parade in the nation.
In 1949 the Appleton Elks Club made the decision to honor the U.S. Flag with a community parade. The Elks, many of whom were WWII veterans, wanted each citizen to be proud to live in the United States of America and to appreciate their freedom. That same year, an Act of Congress signed by President Truman officially recognized June 14th as National Flag Day. The first Flag Day Parade in Appleton was held in 1950.

Escorting the U.S. Flag

The Bronze StarThis year's Escort to the U.S. Flag in the Parade Grand Marshal Jeep will be Lt Col Thomas “LPM” Howlett, USMCR (Ret).

In 1960, Thomas Howlett began 29 years as a U.S. Marine. In college, he enlisted in the Marine Corps as an officer candidate, received his baccalaureate degree in 1963, and then continued for a masters degree. While in graduate school, he was a part-time computer programming instructor for the City of St. Paul.

 Howlett attended Officer Basic School, was assigned to the Naval Aviation Training Command, and later was named a Tactical Data Systems Officer, one of only twelve Marine Corps officers to hold this specialty. He worked on programs for a special purpose computer system that included touch screen technology.

Service in Wisconsin In 1968 he was assigned to Operation Ironhorse, a joint operation involving the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps, and deployed to Vietnam. On returning, he was assigned to the Marine Corps Reserve unit in Green Bay. Over the years, he was periodically ordered to active duty for special projects related to his computer and technical background.

Lt Col Howlett retired in 1989 in a ceremony at the San Diego Recruit Depot. Retirement has not ended his service. He has been active in the Marine Corps Reserve Association, and in raising funds for wounded veterans.

Honorary Parade Marshal

Brigadier General William F. Mullen

Brigadier General William F. Mullen, III was commissioned via the NROTC program at Marquette University in 1986. He was assigned to the Marines in Kaneohe Bay, HI from 1987 to 1990.

During Mar 1990, he transferred to the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Pacific at Mare Island, CA where his service included Commanding Officer of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Company, deployment to Operation Desert Shield, and participation in several counter-narcotics missions.

After Advanced Artillery Officer course training, his assignments included Operation Sea Signal, company commander of the small boat raid and cliff assault company, and contingency operations in the former Yugoslavia. From 1996 to 1999 he served in Milwaukee, WI. During this period he led a successful counter-narcotics mission in the Los Padres National Forest of California.

In early 1999 he was selected to be the Marine Aide to the President. He served in that capacity until 2001 when he was selected to attend the School of Advanced Warfighting in 2001, then reported for duty in the PACOM and CENTCOM sections, and then served as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Regional Operations until 2004.

Other service includes duty at Camp Lejeune, NC as the Division Plans Officer, assignment to Regimental Combat Team – 8, which deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, command of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines in Fallujah, and command of the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA.

In 2012, he was selected for Brigadier General and assigned as the Commanding General, Education Command and President, Marine Corps University, as part of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, VA. Later he was reassigned within the Marine Corps Combat Development Command to the position of Director, Capabilities Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration.

Brigadier General Mullen holds a BA and MA in Political Science from Marquette University, as well as an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He is a graduate of the Airborne, Ranger, Summer Mountain Leader and Royal Marine Arctic Warfare Survival courses. He and his wife Vicki have three adult children, so they are enjoying life as “empty-nesters”. Life is good!



Featured Groups...

Featured groups will be posted in this section as arrangements are made. Confirmations by military groups may be delayed or changed by the possibility of their units being assigned to to developing situations.

Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin

This Cole Bros wagon 82 was built around 1915 to carry an air calliope for Fred Buchanan’s Yankee Robinson Circus. For more information on Circus World's participation, see the Featured Groups page.


The 484th Army Band

The 484th Army Band of Milwaukee will perform in this year's parade. After, the Band will perform a patriotic concert at Post 38, Appleton American Legion at 3220 W. College Avenue at 5 p.m. See the Featured Groups page for more information.



Saturday Before The Parade Begins...

Free U.S. flags will be handed out along the Parade route about one hour before the Parade begins. This project is a cooperative effort of the following organizations.
Sponsors for free flags WHBY logo Pierce Mfg. logo

Bird Dog Flyover

A flyover by two vintage Bird Dog aircraft is scheduled just before the parade. Special thanks go to the International Bird Dog Association, Offutt Air Force Base 55th Communications Squadron, and Nebraska resident (FDL native and retired intelligence officer) LCDR Ron Roen for serving as our aviation coordinator.
Original photos provided by Mr. Kevin Nellessen.

After the Parade

Appleton’s American Legion Post
No. 38 to Host Annual Post Parade Party

The 484th Army Band at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WIThis annual Post Flag Day Parade Party will include a performance by the 484th Army Band. The event is open to the public and will begin at approximately 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, 2014, at Don Hawkins Baseball Field on the grounds of the Appleton American Legion at 3220 W. College Avenue. Free admission!  Food and refreshments will be available at a minimal cost. Other groups or performances may be added as plans develop.

Poster-Post Parade Party

A Parade Party Poster is available for download. (1.6mb JPEG)

The American Legion is dedicated to supporting and advocating the best interests of veterans, promoting Americanism, goodwill, and camaraderie between its members and the community.

TV Coverage...

WFRV TV 5 will videotape the Parade for rebroadcast on WFRV TV 5 on Saturday, June 14 from 10:35 p.m. – 12:05 a.m. and on Sunday, June 22 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Viewers in all of Northeastern Wisconsin will be able to see the nation's oldest Flag Day parade.

Partners for the FDP parade Lamers logo  

Photo credits...

Photos of the Appleton Flag Day Parade are courtesy of Bill Siebers, Jeff Lindsey, and

©2014 Flag Day Parade Committee