FLAG DAY 2024: Honoring the great American flag

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – On June 14, 1777, Congress approved our first national flag with 13 stripes and 13 stars.

We had 13 colonies that became states, united a year prior by the Declaration of Independence.

“This made a symbol that people, average people, can fly and show that they are a member of a society that’s proud to be a country,” said Ron Hedrick, of American Legion Post 32. “And so a Flag Day is something we should always honor. And obviously, it’s our nation, it’s our flag. And we shouldn’t do anything to dishonor it. And we should be proud to to fly it and, give it the respect it’s due.”

Flag Day is all about the symbolism of the American flag, the history of the stars and stripes, and our national pride.

“These flags came from the Veteran’s Cemetery over in Beckley. And each of these flew at a tombstone for a soldier who gave their life to the country,” said West Virginia Army National Guard Second Lieutenant Zachary Chaffin.

Hedrick was 17 when he joined the military. He says standing in front of that flag and taking that oath meant a lot. He was proud to serve his county for 21 years. The timing this June 14 – with Flag Day falling on the same day as Mountaineer Food Bank’s food giveaway is a great way to honor the flag and the veterans.

“Instead of sticking them away in a box, maybe to be used again or maybe not, but I thought, what a great thing,” he said. “Let these veterans take them home, and I told them the story where the flag came from, they lit up and they were glad to take this flag home and give it a second honor.”

It’s a great opportunity to recognize those who came before us, fought for our country’s freedoms, and made the ultimate sacrifice.

“I think this is the best way to honor the service of those,” Chaffin said. “And to honor these flags by giving them out so they can continue on for something else. And spread that to others.”

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