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Elks hold Flag Day celebration

June 20, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Pine Island Elks held its annual Flag Day celebration Thursday 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. In 1907, the BPOE Grand Lodge designated June 14th as Flag Day.

Members of Boy Scout Troop #20 were on hand at the lodge to assist.

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

Article Photos

The Pine Island Elks with Boy Scout Troop #20, with Judy Hopkins, center, and Scout leader Mel Brinson to her left.


Flag Day is the celebration of the Flag Resolution of 1777 passed 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."

Past District Deputy Leroy Lippman read a brief history of each of the 8 flags as the Boy Scouts carried them to the display.

"The evolution of the American flag marks the progression of the government of the American people," Lippman said. "From the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 until 1775, the flag of England was our flag. Then, in 1775, the Pine Tree Flag was adopted for the colonies."

The second flag displayed was the "Don't Tread On Me" flag also known as the "snake" flag. The third flag included 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," Lippmann 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 is a flag that not only added two stars but also two stripes. This is the flag that was flown over Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key wrote the "Star Spangled Banner" from a prison ship in the harbor while watching this flag," Lippmann said.

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 7th 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 8 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. Please join me in singing 'God Bless America.'"

The Elks also designated a "special" parking space for member Ed Snyder, a World War II veteran who served as a bombardier on B-24s. He flew 30 missions over Nazi Germany and France.

"This was a beautiful ceremony," Bridgett Collins said. "I wish my children were here to see this. I'll be sure to bring them next year."



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