Elk’s host inaugural Flag Day ceremony
Published 8:30 am Friday, June 16, 2023
With the fireworks of Independence Day and the more somber observance of Memorial Day, summer is filled with patriotic holidays. Another patriotic holiday occurs about halfway between the two, though it doesn’t get the same fanfare. Flag Day is often forgotten, but if it’s up to the Elk’s Lodge, Old Glory will never be forgotten.
On Wednesday night, the LaGrange Elk’s Lodge hosted its first annual Flag Day Ceremony. Although the ceremony is the first of what the local lodge hopes to be an event, it isn’t their first observance of Flag Day.
Lucinda Deitman, who lead the ceremony, said observing Flag Day is a Elk’s Lodge tradition and is in fact part of their rules.
“The Benevolent Protective Order of Elks is the first and only fraternal body to require formal observance of Flag Day. In July of 1908, the Grand Lodge of the order in Dallas, Texas assembled and provided for an annual nationwide observance of Flag Day on the 14th of each year making it mandatory for local lodges,” Deitman said.
The Flag Day ceremony included a brief history lesson on the American flag as well as a presentation of each of the flags that lead up to the current 50-star flag, and of course, a singing of the national anthem and a pledge to the flag.
Deitman said Flag Day and the flag are both literally and figuratively part of who the Elks are. Many Elk’s Lodge members are U.S. Military veterans and the organization hosts a free Veterans Day luncheon each year for vets and their families.
“This unique distinction, as the strongest promoter of Flag Day is most becoming to the order of Elks. The order is distinctively American. Only American citizens are eligible to join, and there are no foreign affiliations,” Deitman said.