An Elks Tradition Patriotism has characterized the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America since the early days of the organization. Allegiance to the flag of our country is a requirement of every member.
In 1907, the BPO Elks Grand Lodge designated by resolution June 14 as Flag Day. The Grand Lodge of the Order adopted mandatory observance of the occasion by every Lodge in 1911 and that requirement continues. The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order's observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression. But it was not until 1949 when President Harry Truman, himself a member of the Elks, made the proclamation that thereafter June 14 would be a day of national observance for the symbol of our country.
When we honor the Flag of our Country, we not only honor the principles for which it stands, but also those who sacrificed in its defense. We honor the generations who ensured our liberty with the Declaration of Independence, those who forged the Constitution, the generations who fought tyranny at home and on foreign soil and, in our own time, here and now, those who are fighting in the Middle East to secure freedom for those less fortunate than us. We honor the memory of heroes -- of common men and women, patriots one and all.
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