ELYRIA — The Elyria Elks were honoring the Stars and Stripes long before President Harry Truman signed into law a congressional proclamation setting June 14 as the nation’s Flag Day.
“It goes back to before World War I,” Ed Murphy Sr. said this week.
Murphy serves as chairman of the Elyria Elks Club annual Flag Day program, which will take place 7 p.m. Saturday at Ely Square.
The Elks ceremony was done for years at the Elks lodge on Second Street before the number of participants and onlookers grew large enough that it necessitated a move to the square, Murphy said.
“We’ve usually been blessed with good weather, and it looks like it’s going to be good again,” Murphy said.
Done in conjunction with the city’s American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, the observance sees a large number of small American flags passed out to participants to hold and wave during the program — and take home afterward.
The event will include a presentation of flags by the American Legion color guard, a history of the flag and how its design evolved over the years, as well as a proclamation by Mayor Holly Brinda.
Elks officers will make a brief presentation as a tribute to the flag, and Lorain’s Lochaber bagpipers will play a selection of music including “Amazing Grace.”
“And there’s usually a military medley,” Murphy said.
A 21-rifle salute and playing of taps will conclude the service, which typically runs no more than an hour.
Murphy noted that Flag Day is also the anniversary of the U.S. Army, which was founded June 14, 1775.
Time and occasions for display
- Display on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in open; night display
- It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
Manner of hoisting
- The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
- The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all weather flag is displayed.
Particular days of display
- The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1; Inauguration Day, Jan. 20; Lincoln’s Birthday, Feb. 12; Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February; Easter Sunday (variable); Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Constitution Day, Sept. 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October; Navy Day, Oct. 27; Veterans Day, Nov. 11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day, Dec. 25; and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays.
Display on or near administration building of public institutions
- The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.
Display in or near polling places
- The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
Display in or near schoolhouses
- The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.
Respect for flag
- No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
- The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
- The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.
- The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
- The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform and for decoration in general.
- The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled or damaged in any way.
- The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
- The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature.
- The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.
- The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
- No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
- The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.