The Amer­i­can flag

The Covington News - - News -

Last month, a group of lo­cal busi­ness and school leaders and So­cial Cir­cle High School stu­dents wit­nessed a re­tire­ment cer­e­mony for an Amer­i­can flag that had flown over the cam­pus. The Red­skins Bat­tal­ion of JROTC, un­der the lead­er­ship of Ma­jor Mark Robin­son and SSG Michael March­ese, con­ducted this ed­u­ca­tional cer­e­mony, pro­vid­ing a les­son in pa­tri­o­tism and flag eti­quette.

Fed­eral law stip­u­lates many as­pects of flag eti­quette, in­clud­ing flag re­tire­ment. The United States Flag Code states: “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.”

For this cer­e­mony, the stu­dents had pre­pared the flag in ad­vance by cut­ting the flag into five key pieces — the stand­ing edge, the star, the blue field, and the two stripes. As each por­tion was dropped into the fire by the honor guard, a cadet shared the sym­bol­ism as­so­ci­ated with that part — the red rep­re­sents har­di­ness and valor, the white rep­re­sents pu­rity and in­no­cence, the blue rep­re­sents vig­i­lance, the stars rep­re­sent the 50 states, and the stan­dard edges rep­re­sent the flag, hav­ing served its use­ful life as a sym­bol of free­dom. In looking around at the crowd, it was ob­vi­ous that pride and pa­tri­o­tism are alive and well in So­cial Cir­cle.

Over the years, our flag has been with those fight­ing for free­dom in for­eign coun­tries, pro­vid­ing strength and hope for those who have cho­sen to serve their coun­try through the mil­i­tary. We will have an­other op­por­tu­nity to share our pride and our pa­tri­o­tism on Nov. 11, as So­cial Cir­cle City Schools con­ducts its 15th an­nual Vet­eran’s Day cel­e­bra­tion. This year’s pro­gram theme is “The Amer­i­can Flag.” With many lo­cal vet­er­ans in at­ten­dance, our stu­dents will rec­og­nize and cel­e­brate our vet­er­ans and our coun­try through poster dis­plays, es­says and pa­tri­otic mu­sic. Per­haps th­ese events will in­spire all of us to in­spect the flags we have fly­ing at our homes. If they are faded or torn, they should be re­tired prop­erly, out of re­spect, and re­placed.

As ed­u­ca­tors, we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­spire pride in this great coun­try of ours. Many thanks to Ma­jor Robin­son, Sergeant March­ese and Colonel Clay Har­ris for re­in­forc­ing our duty as cit­i­zens to give great re­spect to our flag and our coun­try. Our Amer­i­can flag will for­ever be a sym­bol of free­dom, hope, lib­erty and op­por­tu­nity — fly it proudly.

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