June 18, 2022 — Florence service groups and members of local veteran groups held somber Flag Day events on Tuesday, June 14.
Florence Elks Lodge #1858 was the site of a ceremony displaying the different flags which have represented the United States of America since before its independence.
Flag Day was established officially by proclamation in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson in commemoration of the passage of a resolution passed by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, adopting the American flag. It stated, “Resolved, That the flag of the 13 United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation,”
The U.S. Army also celebrates its birthday on that day.
The fraternal order of Elks has always been at the forefront of recognizing and promoting appreciation of the flag and has celebrated the holiday since the early days of the organization. and Allegiance to the flag is a requirement of every member.
This year, the veterans were joined by youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County.
The students were clearly excited by the opportunity to help carry flags around the meeting room at the lodge.
“We were honored and proud to be invited to participate in the Elks’ Flag Day Ceremony,” the club posted to Facebook. “Our kids showed so much respect and the members really seemed to enjoy having them accompany them. … Thank you, Elks Lodge #1858, for including us in your time honored tradition.”
In addition to the Elks service, there was a ceremony later in the day which officially “retired” used or damaged flags.
The decommission of flags follows a procedure which results in members of the military, local veterans and family members placing the damaged flags over a bed of coals, which immediately incinerates the cloth.
American Legion Post #59 held the Flag Retirement Ceremony across from the Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue Main Station at Highway 101 and 26th Street.