Thursday is officially Flag Day in the United States. The day is typically celebrated on June 14 to commemorate the adoption of the American flag on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
At 6 p.m. Thursday, American …
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At 6 p.m. Thursday, American Legion Post 15 will observe the day by conducting its annual ceremonial burning of damaged U.S. flags on the stage behind the Fair Building at 34 S. Artillery Drive. Post 15 Adjutant Nick Nero said the ceremony is brief, lasting only about 15 minutes.
"Our commander (Jim Morris) will ask the vice commanders to verify that the flags are damaged, and once that is done, the flags will be burned," Nero said.
According to the U.S. Flag Code, "the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."
Respect for the flag is demonstrated by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as it burns. The ashes are buried.
Nero said the public is welcome to attend the ceremony.
John "Johnny" Raffield IV, immediate past exalted ruler of Sumter Lodge 855 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, said the public is invited to attend its Flag Day ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday at the lodge, 1100 W. Liberty St.
Raffield said allegiance to the U.S. flag is a requirement for all Elks and that a Flag Day observance has been mandatory in all lodges since 1911. Saturday's program of less than one hour will include the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" by all those assembled. Exalted Ruler Fred Kubala will give a history of the flag from Colonial times to the present, and retired U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Robert Levi will give a patriotic speech.
Levi is a native of Puerto Rico and graduated from Sumter High School in 1984. While in the service, Levi received many awards and honors, including several oak leaf clusters, the Korean Defense Services Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary medals, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Achievement and Commendation medals and many more.
The U.S. Flag code also specifies the manner in which citizens should display flags at their homes. It recommends displaying the flag every day but lists many specific dates on which it is especially recommended. Among these are Flag Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Constitution Day. The code also specifies that the U.S. flag should be flown in or near polling sites on election days.
Ample free parking is available at the Elks Lodge. Raffield said adults are encouraged to bring their children and grandchildren. Refreshments will be served in the lodge's lounge following the program.
FLAG DAY QUIZ
1. U.S. President _______________, an Elk himself, proclaimed June 14 Flag Day.
2. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by a socialist minister, Francis Bellamy. The four words __ ___ __ ____ were added in 1954.
3. In 1930, the Pledge of Allegiance became mandatory to recite in U.S. _____ _______.
4. The mandatory recitation of the Pledge in public schools was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in ___.
5. South Carolina was one of how many states to have a star on the original U.S. flag?
1. Harry S Truman
2. One nation under God
3. Public schools
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