Every time local Elks member Dale Ball has attended the lodge’s annual Flag Day ceremony, she’s come away knowing things about the varied and rich history of America’s patriotic insignia that she didn’t know before.
“I’ve been a member for nine years, and the first time I went to the flag ceremony, I felt like an uneducated person,” she explained. “I didn’t realize there had been so many flags over time, and what they all have meant.
“That’s happened pretty much every year — you always pick up on something new. It’s a learning experience as well as a way to honor our flag, and that’s a big reason why we love to get young people involved. There’s a lot of history that we’re hoping to help pass on.”
This year, local boy scouts will take part in the hour-long ceremony, presenting the flag alongside local Elks members. Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry will be this year’s featured speaker.
The ceremony itself is a solemn and respectful affair, but the Elks Lodge always treats guests to light refreshments once the event has concluded. The Flag Day presentation is a tradition that goes back decades for the Elks, and Ball stressed that it’s a free event where everyone, from all walks of life, are welcome.
“Children, parents, students, veterans — we want everyone to come,” she said. “It’s completely free and open to the public.”
This year’s Flag Day ceremony at the Cullman Elks Lodge will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12.
Benjamin Bullard can be reached by phone at 256-734-2131 ext. 145.