A special program was held at Kansas Christian Home on Wednesday in recognition of Flag Day.

 

Residents assembled — many dressed in red, white and blue and a few wearing veteran's hats — to learn about the history of the flag and enjoy refreshments.

 

Chaplain Diana Leaf led the audience of about 50 attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance, noting that the phrase "under God" was not added to the pledge until 1954.

 

She then introduced Wayne G. Austin American Legion Post 2 Adjutant Paul Sanford.

 

"I came out to honor the veterans and to let them know what Flag Day was about," Sanford said. "It's part of what we do — veterans supporting veterans."

 

Sanford spoke about the history of the American flag and Flag Day.

 

"In the late 1800s, schools all over America held Flag Day programs to contribute to the Americanization of immigrant children," Sanford said.

 

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 in recognition of the adoption of the flag, which occurred on June 14, 1777.

 

Bernard J. Cigrand, a grade school teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, is credited with initiating the first formal observance of Flag Day at the Stony Hill School in 1885.

 

Sanford noted that for a short time, the American flag bore 15 stars and stripes when Vermont and Kentucky were added as states to the original 13 colonies.

 

"They quickly realized that if they kept adding stripes, no one would be able to fly the flag," Sanford said.

 

Proper flag display etiquette is something American citizens should be aware of, he noted.

 

"If you have a flag flying outside all the time and display it 24 hours a day, it must have a light on it," Sanford stressed. "Otherwise, you need to take it down."

 

The American Legion is one of the biggest advocates of protecting the American flag.

 

"Honor the flag and fly it with respect and dignity," Sanford concluded.

 

When taking down the flag, each fold is symbolic of an aspect of American life.

 

According to the American Legion, the first fold symbolizes life, the second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life and the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans "who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country."

 

The fourth fold represents "our weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace, as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance."

 

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country and the sixth fold for our hearts with which we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

 

Our armed forces are recognized with the seventh fold, and the eighth fold is a tribute to "the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day."

 

Womanhood's faith, love, loyalty and devotion are symbolized in the ninth fold while fathers are given tribute through the 10th fold "for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born."

 

To Hebrew citizens, the 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David. The 12th fold, to a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity.

 

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are shown on top in order to remind us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”