Pulaski, TN 1827

Flag Day

FLAG DAY: 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.

Copyright 1997 by BPO Elks of the USA, all rights reserved

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"My Name is OLD GLORY"

by Howard Schnauber, 1994
USMC veteran of WWII & Korea, four times wounded in battle
[Slightly edited after September 11, 2001]

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over great institutes of learning.
I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world.
Look up! And see me!

I stand for peace - honor - truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident - I am arrogant - I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners,
my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!

I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped - I am saluted - I am respected -
I am revered - I am loved, and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war
for more than 200 years:
I was flown at Saratoga, Fort McHenry, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Appomattox,
San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, the Argonne Forest,
Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy,
the deserts of Africa, the cane fields of the Philippines,
the rice paddies and jungles of Guam, Okinawa, Japan,
Korea and Vietnam.
I was there from Guadalcanal to Desert Storm,
and I am there today in the Middle East.

I led my troops - I watched over them.
They loved me.
I was on a small hill in Iwo Jima.
I was dirty, battle-worn and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me, and I was proud.

I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled
on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have been soiled, torn and trampled
on the streets of my country,
and when it's by those whom I've served in battle - it hurts.
But I shall overcome - for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth
and stand watch over the uncharted frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have been a silent witness to all of America's finest hours.

But my finest hour comes when I am
torn into strips to be used as bandages
for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
when I am flown at half staff to honor my soldiers,
and when I lie in the trembling arms
of a grieving parent
at the graveside of their fallen son or daughter.
I am proud.

America has been attacked by cowardly fanatics
and many lives have been lost.
But those who would destroy me cannot win
for I am the symbol of freedom -
of one nation, under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

Long may I wave!

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You're a Grand Old Flag
~ by George M. Cohan ~

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag;
And forever, in peace, may you wave;
You're the emblem of the land I love,
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true,
under Red, White and Blue;
Where there's never a boast or brag;
But should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Clipart by Gif