For years, American Elks Lodges have gathered across the nation to honor the United States’ flag on Flag Day.
It’s a ceremony the Plant City branch looks forward to every year and veteran members of the organization volunteer to carry each evolution of the flag in a special ceremony at the lodge. The history of all nine flags is read from a podium as they are walked one at a time in front of the audience.
Flags that range from the Pine Tree, which was carried by Continental forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 to the POW flag and of course the now iconic flag featuring 50 stars were proudly displayed.
World War II veterans, Vietnam veterans and countless others participated in the ceremony and joined the large audience in singing patriotic tunes like the “Star-Spangled Banner” and pledging allegiance to the flag.
While all Elks Lodges have hosted an event each year since 1907, Flag Day is not considered an official federal holiday. It was, however, designated as a national holiday via an Act of Congress in 1949.
The nine veterans participating
in the event were:
Lance Ham Sr.