Learning story of Old Glory, and treating it with respect
The St. Mary’s Northern Senior Activity Center’s “Salute to Service” before Veterans Day included a discussion last week on the history of the U.S. flag, and tips on how it should be presented and respected.
Mike Barbour, a retired U.S. Navy senior chief petty officer now serving as the Americanism programs chairman at Southern Maryland American Legion Post 221 in Avenue, told two dozen attendees at the senior center that there have been 27 different U.S. flags in the nation’s history, beginning with an original Continental Army flag that showed a troubling deference in its colors and design to both independence, and allegiance to Great Britain.
As the Revolutionary War commenced with that flag carried into battle, “George Washington said he didn’t want to sustain the British [troops] getting confused, that we were going to surrender,” Barbour said. That concern led to seeking help from Betsy Ross, who had made the curtains at Washington’s estate, and her design including a circle of stars upon a blue field, accompanying white and red stripes representing the original 13 colonies, he said.
As the years followed and more states joined the new nation, they received only stars, or “we’d have pinstripes at the end,” Barbour said.
On proper etiquette in the display of Old Glory, Barbour said, when the U.S. flag is flown in a group, it’s “always to be displayed on its own right, [and] always to the observer’s left,” but in the middle if it’s on a taller staff.
While an eagle-shaped finial on top of a U.S. flag’s staff is traditional, Barbour said that in an outdoor display, gusts of winds can blow a flag on top of the eagle ornament’s sharp edges, and tear the fabric.
“The globe [finial] is much better for windy conditions,” he said.
If a U.S. flag accidentally is dropped, “You can pick up the flag, brush it off, and carry on,” Barbour said, but a damaged flag should be discarded in a dignified and ceremonial manner, now provided each June 14, Flag Day, by the legion post’s members at a cremation event held at the St. Mary’s governmental complex in Leonardtown.
When the flag passes by in a parade or during the playing of the national anthem, Barbour said, civilians should hold their hat or right hand over their heart, while active service members salute the flag. And veterans can do that, too.
“Veterans are authorized to salute the flag as it passes,” he said. “They served under those colors.”
Go dance Saturday night at church hall
Southern Maryland Traditional Music and Dance is sponsoring a contra dance this Saturday, Nov. 11, at Christ Episcopal Church’s parish hall in Chaptico.
Ann Fallon will be calling the dance, and music will be provided by the Southern Maryland Open Band. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the dance will begin at 7. Beginners are encouraged to arrive at 7 for a dance workshop.
Contra is a traditional American style of social dance, providing fun and exercise for the whole family, and somewhat akin to the Virginia Reel or a Square Dance. No special clothing is required, as dancers need to be comfortable and move freely. There will be an ice cream social during the dance. For more information and directions, go online to www.smtmd.org.
Young deer hunters can go on escorted treks this weekend
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is encouraging experienced deer hunters to introduce youth to the time-honored cultural and sporting tradition during two Junior Deer Hunting Days, this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 11 and 12. The hunt will be held Saturday on private and public land in all counties, and Sunday on private land in counties including St. Mary’s.
Hunters 16 years of age or younger who possess a valid license may use firearms or air guns that meet department standards to hunt sika and white-tailed deer on the two days. They must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old, who holds a valid hunting license. Adults may not possess a hunting device while accompanying a junior hunter, but may participate in other open seasons, if they are not acting as a mentor.
For more information on the weekend, including regional bag limits for the Junior Deer Hunt Days, go online to http:// news.maryland.gov/ dnr/2017/11/03/juniordeer-hunting-days-set-fornovember/.
Writer to speak Nov. 16 at college
Joy Castro, a prize-winning author, will speak at 8:15 p.m. next Thursday, Nov. 16, at St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Daugherty-Palmer Commons, including reading from her work.
Winner of an International Latino Book Award and the Nebraska Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, Castro is the author of the mem- oir “The Truth Book” (2005), the crime novel “Hell or High Water” (2012), the essay collection “Island of Bones” (2012), the crime novel “Nearer Home” (2013), and the short fiction collection “How Winter Began” (2015).
Castro is a professor at the University of Nebraska, where she teaches creative writing, literature, and Latina/o studies.
After the reading, Kortet Mensah, the college’s associate vice president of diversity and inclusion, will lead a question-and-answer session.
Crafters to sell their wares in Hollywood
The annual fall craft show to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department will feature handmade crafts, clothing and Christmas items.
Other items available for purchase will include jewelry, artwork, pictures, wood carvings, floral arrangements, decorative and repurposed dishes, crocheted and knitted items, ceramics, quilts, blankets, jerky, jelly, animal bandanas and accessories, hair bands and bows, dips and doll clothes.
Beef barbecue and stuffed ham sandwiches will be on the menu, along with homemade soups, for guests to enjoy in a designated dining area.
Stuffed ham also can be purchased by the pound, and there will be bake sale run by the ladies auxiliary with cakes, pies and cookies.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the first responders’ organization. For more information on the show, go online to www.hvfd7.com.
Girls on the Run to hold 5K event
Girls on the Run of Southern Maryland will hold its inaugural 5K event on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
Participation in the 5K event is open to the public, and all proceeds from the event will benefit the organization. Participants can pick up packets on race day at the stadium. The event will begin at 9 a.m, and early arrival is suggested.
For more information about the event, how to register and volunteer opportunities, go online to www.gotrsomd.org/5K.
Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based youth development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in third through eighth grade.
During the 10-week program training program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections and encourage community service while they prepare for the end-of-season celebratory 5K event.