BUCKHANNON — Members of the local Elks Lodge 1736 stood before members of the public and families of the Cub Scouts Pack 128 Sunday afternoon, to explain the significance of Flag Day.
The Elks organization was founded in New York City on February 16, 1868, under the name “Jolly Corks” by 15 actors, entertainers and others associated with the theater. In ensuing years, membership expanded to other professions. The Fraternal Order was founded to promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity, to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of members, and to quicken the spirit of American patriotism and fellowship.
Elks Lodges throughout the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Panama Canal celebrate Flag Day each year and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is reportedly the only fraternal organization to require a formal observance of Flag Day. June 14 was officially established as Flag Day in a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. However, Flag Day was not a national observance until 1949. President Harry Truman, himself an Elks member, was inspired through his Lodge in Independence Missouri, to sign an act of Congress that dedicated June 14 to the symbol of our country.
This year, Cub Scout Pack 128, along with Cub Master Erin Perry, joined with the Elks Lodge 1736 to commemorate Flag Day. The Cub Scouts presented the colors at the beginning of the ceremony followed by Elk’s members singing The National Anthem and God Bless America. Brothers also read a recap of what it means to be an Elk member and past Exalted Ruler Scott Wilson read the history of Flag Day.
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The Flag Resolution, passed on June 14, 1777, resolved, “That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” The American Flag has remained a symbol of hope through wars such as the Battle of Iwo Jima, the War of 1812, Vietnam, and acts of terrorism like 9/11 and the attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the crash site of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
The ceremony concluded after a reading by the Elizabeth Zane Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. Members of Cub Scout Pack 128 stood by the door to hand out Flag pins provided by DAR for all those in attendance.