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Island Elks celebrate Flag Day

June 26, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Pine Island Elks held its annual Flag Day Celebration Friday at the Elks Hall on Pine Island Road. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has celebrated the holiday since the early days of the organization. Thirty to 35 people were present.

Members of Girl Scout Troop #49 were on hand to assist with the program.

Boy Scout Troop #20 usually participates in the program, but this year the troop was on a camping trip.

Article Photos

Pine Island Elks and Girl Scout Troop 49 celebrated Flag Day on June 14 at the island lodge


"The purpose of this service is to honor our country's flag and to celebrate the anniversary of its birth," said Judy Hopkins, Pine Island Elks Exalted Ruler.

BPOE members each read a brief history of each of the eight flags as a Girl Scout carried it to the display.

Flag Day is the celebration of the Flag Resolution of 1777 passed on June 14 by the Second Continental Congress. The resolution resolved that "the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

The first flag recognized as a "national flag" was the Pine Tree flag adopted by the colonies in 1775. The second flag displayed was the "Don't Tread On Me" flag also known as the Gadsden flag. This flag is named after American Gen. Christopher Gadsden who designed it during the American Revolution.

The third flag is the Continental Colors flag with the white cross of St. George.

"In 1777 Congress decided that a more suitable banner was required for the new country and determined that a flag of 13 alternating red and white stripes with a blue field in the corner containing 13 white stars would be established," Hopkins said. "It is said that Betsy Ross suggested that the stars be five-point instead of six points. This is known as the Betsy Ross flag."

The next flag not only added two stars but also two stripes. This is the flag that was flown over Ft. McHenry in the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key wrote the "Star Spangled Banner" from a prison ship in the harbor.

The flag design stayed the same from 1818 until 1907. Between those years 28 new stars were added representing 28 new states.

In 1907, the 46-star flag was created to include the state of Oklahoma. Four years later the nations seventh flag, the 48-star flag, was created. Finally in 1959, Alaska and Hawaii were added creating the 50-star flag we fly today. At the conclusion, eight flags representing the history of the United States were on display.

"Our flag is at once a history, a declaration and a prophesy," Hopkins said. "It represents the American nation as it was at its birth. It speaks of what it is today and affords an opportunity for the future to add other stars to the glorious constellation. The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks is the first and only fraternal body to require formal observance of Flag Day."

The program concluded with the singing of "God Bless America."



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