Elks celebrate Flag Day
The Florence Elks Lodge #1020 and guests celebrated Flag Day on June 14. Elks Lodges nationwide perform this Flag Day ceremony each year and it is open to the public. The ceremony tells the history of each flag that has flown over the United States of America, beginning with the “Pine Tree Flag” and the “Gadsden Flag” and ending with the current flag made up of 13 stripes of alternating red and white and 50 stars in a field of blue representing a new constellation.
After the Elks Flag Day ceremony, boy scouts with Troop #477 performed a Flag Retirement Ceremony that respectfully and honorably retired 15 flags that had become torn and weathered over time. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is the first and only fraternal organization to require formal observance of Flag Day.
In July of 1908, the Grand Lodge, assembled in Dallas, Texas, provided for the annual nationwide observance of Flag Day on the 14th of June in each year by making it mandatory upon each local Lodge of the Order. June 14 was officially established as Flag Day by a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson, issued May 30, 1916. To learn more about the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks visit the website at www.elks.org or contact the local lodge at (843) 665-8810.