Jacksonville’s second annual Flag Day ceremony, picnic planned

by By Michelle Dillon michelle@thecherokeean.com
Photo by Cristin Parker
Old Glory waves above the north plant delivery yard of WCS/TFV (Winn Consulting & Services - Texas Vessel & Fabrications) on U.S. Highway 175, west of Jacksonville. Photo by Cristin Parker
Old Glory waves above the north plant delivery yard of WCS/TFV (Winn Consulting & Services - Texas Vessel & Fabrications) on U.S. Highway 175, west of Jacksonville.

The second annual Flag Day Celebration and Picnic will take place 11 a.m. to noon, Friday, June 14, at the memorial park in downtown Jacksonville at the corner of Main and Larissa Streets, next to the Vanishing Texana Museum.

Flag Day is traditionally believed to have begun as the idea of a Wisconsin public schoolteacher June 14, 1885, when he arranged for students to observe the 108th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as “Flag Birthday,” according to the website www.usflag.org. Flag Day was officially established by proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

The celebratory event will open with a welcome by Jacksonville Mayor Randy Gorham, a presentation of the color guard by marines and the Pledge of Allegiance. The program will consist of portions of letters from WWI and WWII, read by family members, and patriotic music led by Mike Kellegg, music director of First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville and former band director at Lon Morris College.

Several certificates will be awarded to local military groups as well as patriotic citizens.

The program will be followed by a free picnic lunch of sandwiches, chips, desserts and drinks.

If bad weather should develop, the event will be moved inside the Vanishing Texana Museum, 300 S. Bolton St. in Jacksonville.

One will also have an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to win one of two prizes, a painting by Judy Seamands, owner of WallWork or a print copy of a photo taken in 1922 at the Golden Jubilee parade in downtown Jacksonville.

Proceeds of the raffle will assist in the repair and preservation of the WWI statue in the park, which will hopefully be completed and ready to unveil Veteran’s Day November 2022, Jacksonville’s 150th birthday.

Raffle tickets cost $5 each or $10 for three. Tickets can be obtained at the Jacksonville Public Library, or by calling Deborah Burkett at (903) 752-7850.

The drawing will take place at the Flag Day Celebration and Picnic; winner need not be present to win.

The event is sponsored by Daughters of the American Revolution, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville Wednesday Study Club, The Cherokee County Historical Commission, Cherokee County Genealogical Society, Lone Star Military Resource Group and the Vanishing Texana Museum.

Flag etiquette, according to www.usflag.org, states when displaying Old Glory:

- raise the flag briskly and lower it slowly and ceremoniously;

- illuminate the flag if it is being displayed at night;

- place the flag to the right of a speaker or staging area;

- when on a staff, the union (field of stars) should be at the peak of the staff unless being flown at half staff; and

- place the union at the upper left when displayed vertically or horizontally on a wall.

Some things not to do with the flag include:

- dipping the flag to any person or thing,

- hanging it upside down, except as a distress signal,

- used as a decoration, covering for a speakers desk or draping from a platform,

- used for advertising purposes or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use,

- used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, or delivering anything.

Additionally, when the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object.

When a flag becomes so worn it is no longer fit for service, it should be destroyed by burning it in a dignified manner.

Many American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and Girl Scout Troops also retire flags.