BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon Elks Lodge #1736 held a Flag Day Ceremony at the lodge on Sunday, welcoming several other organizations. Flag Day is recognized nationally on June 14 each year. It is a mandatory ritual that all Elks observe on June 14, unless otherwise requested.
Exalted Ruler Kathy Chapman started the ceremony by singing the Star-Spangled Banner and Chaplin Rose Clutter led with a prayer. Chapman said she felt very privileged to be part of the patriotic celebration.
During the ceremony, Secretary and Former Exalted Ruler Scott Wilson presented the evolution and significance of the nation’s flags, while the Upshur County Honor Guard held each out on display. American's Creed was read by Georgette Ward, with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Elizabeth Zane Chapter. Esteemed Leading Knight Michael Livesay read the response.
The evolution of the flag was explained during the ceremony. Since the Pine Flag in 1775, there have been eight flags, with the last being the current American Flag. According to Chapman, when the settlers came to Jamestown in 1607, they used the flag of England. In 1775, the Pine Tree Flag was adopted by the vessels and carried by the continental forces, but when the southern colonies were added, the Snake Flag was used to represent from 1776 to 1777.
In 1777, the Cross Flag was used to replace the Pine Tree and Snake Flags and united the colonies. In June of 1777, the Betsy Ross Flag was created to be more representative of the colonies.
In September of 1814, the 15 Star Flag was found flying over Fort McHenry and was the inspiration for Francis Scott Key’s the Star-Spangled Banner. On July 4, 1818, the 20 Star Flag was appointed, and Congress decided to start adding a star after a new state was admitted to the union. No official flag was created thereafter with an updated number until almost 100 years and 28 states later.
At that point, the 48 Star Flag was made July 4, 1912 and used for 47 years until right before the Vietnam War. When Alaska and Hawaii joined the United States, the current and 50 Star Flag was born.
The Order of the Elks is an organization that is distinctively American and intensely patriotic. They represent virtues of Americanism: Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity. The Buckhannon Elks Lodge #1736 holds meetings on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Lodge. Those interested in joining must be an American citizen and can apply at the Elks Lodge at 47 N Kanawha Street in Buckhannon. New members are always welcome.