Flag Day offers chance to reflect on powerful symbol

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sunday, June 14 marks Flag Day, a day set aside by Congress to recognize the American symbol and to serve as a reminder for what it stands for and the etiquette and treatment it deserves.

In an effort to better mark this day, The Advertiser will present a full page, full color flag in our Weekend edition, along with a page, sponsored by local businesses, offering a number of trivia questions about the American flag.

While the questions serve as a reader contest, it also serves as an education tool, giving details and facts that some may not know.

Over the past few years, I have had the chance to learn a lot more about our flag than just what the red and white stripes depict. By the way, they represent the original 13 colonies.

One such lesson came from covering a flag retirement ceremony conducted by a group of Boy Scouts. In my last job in Alexander City, we proudly displayed a flag outside our office nearly every day. And, over those nearly six years, we went through a number of flags.

The sun and rain would weather the flags, tattering the ends and fading the colors. The weathering would require us to replace the flag, but it was a must on our part, not to just put it in a closet or throw it a way. We made a point to give the flags, folded, to the Boy Scouts.

In watching the care and precision they Boy Scouts and their leaders gave the donated flags as they cut them apart in the proper way and then quietly placed them on an open fire was a touching ceremony. Not because of what the flag was but for what it represented. And, seeing these boys learn that lesson at such an early age was awe-inspiring.

I hope you enjoy the interesting facts and rules on displaying the flag and history that will be presented in this weekend’s coverage.

The flag is a proud symbol for America, but the rights, privileges and opportunity for life and liberty is even more impressive.

– You can reach Tim by email at tim.reeves@clantonadvertiser.com