Patriotism on colorful display at Eagle River Flag Day ceremony

Monday, June 18, 2018 - 10:06
  • A member of Boy Scout Troop 230 salutes the flag during a Flag Day ceremony on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Eagle River Elks Lodge. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Members of Boy Scout Troop 230 present flags during a Flag Day ceremony on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Eagle River Elks Lodge. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • A Flag Day ceremony was held Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Eagle River Elks Lodge. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River Elks Lodge exalted ruler Ted “Raven” Palmer recites the Pledge of Allegiance during a Flag Day ceremony held June 14, 2018 at the lodge in Eagle River. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Members of Boy Scout Troop 230 salute during a Flag Day ceremony held Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Eagle River Elks Lodge. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • A Flag Day ceremony was held Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Eagle River Elks Lodge. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Members of Boy Scout Troop 230 present flags during a Flag Day ceremony on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Eagle River Elks Lodge. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Red, white and blue were on full display Thursday outside the Eagle River Lions Club, where more than 50 people stood in the bright sunshine to take part in a patriotic celebration of the nation’s banner. From the red of the Boy Scouts’ neckerchierf to the puffy white clouds to the bright blue sky overhead, the day was ideal for celebrating the nation’s colors.

“The whole point is Americanism,” said Lodge 2682 exalted ruler Ted “Raven” Palmer after the half-hour ceremony, which included patriotic songs, an opening prayer and messages of patriotism from club members.

Members of local Boy Scout Troop 230 presented the colors, with 17 scouts carrying a succession of American flags in front of a crowd gathered in the lodge’s parking lot in downtown Eagle River.

Scoutmaster Dennis Sessler said patriotic values are core to the mission of scouting, and helping out with the ceremony was a good way to give the kids a “sense of their community.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Sessler said.

According to USFlag.org, Flag Day was first celebrated in late late 1800s and established in 1916 in a proclimation by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. In 1949, President Harry Truman made July 14 the official date of the celebration when he signed an act of Congress into law establishing the date as National Flag Day.

The scouts paraded a number of flags from the Union Jack through flags flown during the War of 1812 to the current 50-star flag flown today.

Palmer said the Elks are the only fraternal order to mandate Flag Day ceremonies each year, and the group is only open to U.S. citizens. He said patriotism and reverence for the flag are cornerstones of the group’s identity.

“We just want to take a day and have people come out and join us and honor our nation’s flag,” he said. “So people remember the sacrifices made in defense of the flag.”

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected] or call (907) 257-4274.

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