ST. GEORGE —Dixie Elks Lodge No. 1743 will host its annual Flag Day ceremony in downtown St. George at Tabernacle and 100 West on Friday. The celebration begins at 6 p.m.
Flag Day has been celebrated by the Elks since the early days of the organization’s founding. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, is a social club of the American fraternal order. In 1907 the BPEO Grand Lodge resolved to designate June 14 as Flag Day. The Grand Lodge of the Order adopted mandatory observance in 1911. The patriotic essence of the organization garnered support from Woodrow Wilson.
The Mission and Vision
It is to be expected that an organization dedicated to patriotic service should seek to promote a proper knowledge of, and respect for, the American Flag and all that it represents. The Order of Elks has done this in many ways. Perhaps the most effective of its prescribed activities is the Flag Day Service. Each subordinate Lodge is required to conduct this service annually on June 14th, the anniversary of the birth of the American Flag.
Elks Lodge: Flag Day History
The idea of a Flag Day Service was first suggested to the Order by the then Grand Exalted Ruler at the 1907 Grand Lodge Session in Philadelphia. Of the dates submitted for consideration at that time, June 14 was adopted by the session and was called “Elks Flag Day.”
The following year, in Dallas, the Grand Lodge approved a ritual for the Flag Day ceremony. The 1911 Grand Lodge session at Atlantic City made the observance of Flag Day mandatory for Subordinate Lodges by the adoption of Section 229 of the Statutes: It shall be the duty of each Subordinate Lodge to hold the service known as “Flag Day Services” at the time and in the manner prescribed by the ritual of the Order.
Later at the Grand Lodge Session in Atlantic City in 1930 there was added to this statute an amendment reading: “The Grand Exalted Ruler may, in exceptional cases and for good cause, grant a dispensation for a different day, or to any two or more Lodges to hold such services jointly.”
August 3, 1949, the president of the United States signed Public Law 203, designating June 14 as Flag Day. Thus, the Order was not only the first fraternal organization to celebrate Flag Day, but had made this ceremony mandatory long years before the date on which the observance became a nationwide practice by legal decree.
The public is encouraged to join and participate. The American Legion Post #90 will assist with the burning of old and tattered flags to dispose of them properly. Elks Lodge encourages the public to bring tattered flags to the Elks Lodge at 630 W 1250N, St. George year round to be destroyed on Flag Day.
Who: open to the public
Where: Tabernacle and 100 West St. George
What: Flag Day Celebration
When: June 14, 6 p.m.
For more information, contact Tim Murray, 435-688-2973.
Submitted by: Dixie Elks Lodge No. 1743