The ceremony was led by Elks Exalted Ruler Floyd
Schmidt, Chaplain Chris Schmidt, Emblem Club President Judy Smith
with music provided by Shirley Klink.
Floyd Schmidt opened the service noting that the upcoming Flag Day
on Wednesday June 14th, was a celebration of the anniversary of the
establishment of our nation’s flag. He said that it was only fitting
that the Elks should annually hold a celebration of the flag because
the organization is founded in patriotism.
Schmidt asked the chaplain to lead the group in prayer. She thanked
God for the flag and those who have honored it and noted its deep
meaning to our country. She asked that all people would continue to
honor the flag and the nation it represents.
The group then sang the song, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” with Klink
accompanying on the guitar. The group then recited the Pledge of
Allegiance to the Flag.
Schmidt then read aloud the writing of Ruth Apperson Rou, a poem
entitled “I am the Flag.”
I am the flag of the
United States of America.
I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia.
There the Continental Congress adopted my stars and stripes as the
My thirteen stripes alternating red and white, with a union of
thirteen white stars in a field of blue, represented a new
constellation, a new nation dedicated to the personal and religious
liberty of mankind.
Today fifty stars signal from my union, one for each of the fifty
sovereign states in the greatest constitutional republic the world
has ever known.
My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of
the citizens of my country.
My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of
American men and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of
American mothers and daughters.
My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all.
My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.
I represent these eternal principles: liberty, justice, and
I embody American freedom: freedom of speech, religion, assembly,
the press, and the sanctity of the home.
I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to my land
by Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers - the Pilgrims,
Puritans, settlers at James town and Plymouth.
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I am as old as my nation.
I am a living symbol of my nation's law: the Constitution of the
United States and the Bill of Rights.
I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy: "A government of the people,
by the people, for the people."
I stand guard over my nation's schools, the seedbed of good
citizenship and true patriotism.
I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my nation; every
schoolyard has a flag pole for my display.
Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge their
allegiance to me and my country.
I have my own law—Public Law 829, "The Flag Code" - which definitely
states my correct use and display for all occasions and situations.
I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set aside to honor my
Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your
birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and
I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in
trust for posterity.
If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if I am nullified
and destroyed, you and your children will become slaves to dictators
Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.
As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country,
remind yourself that I am the flag of your country, that I stand for
what you are - no more, no less.
Guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the earth.
Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: "One
nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a battle for
God grant that I may spend eternity in my "land of the free and the
home of the brave" and that I shall ever be known as "Old Glory,"
the flag of the United States of America.
Schmidt then asked the group to sing the song “God Bless America,”
and the closing prayer was offered by Chaplain Schmidt.
Today, Wednesday, June 14th, is the official Flag Day across the
nation. The Elks hold this Flag Day Service each year, and the
public is welcome and encouraged to attend.