The Moore American

November 7, 2012

Veterans group explain flag etiquette to junior high students

By Melissa Elder
The Moore American

MOORE — On Veterans Day, residents all across the country will unite to pay homage to U.S. veterans for the sacrifices they made.

All have been united under one flag, with one mission, to serve and protect. That mission, which is clear to the soldier, can sometimes be forgotten or lost for the average person. But one band of veterans have taken it upon themselves to travel the state to remind our youngest citizens what our flag and our country stand for.

The Oklahoma Veterans Flag Program is designed to educate children on the flag and flag etiquette, said group member Terry Farmer.

While not specifically a Veterans Day program, Farmer acknowledged the group is kept busy at this time of year.

In an early celebration of Veterans Day, the seventh- and eighth-grade students at Central Junior High were treated Nov. 2 to a flag program given by the Oklahoma Veterans Flag Program.

The group is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations for its financial support.

“Our sponsors are Woodmen of the World, they donate the flags that we give to the schools; Logan’s Roadhouse, who provided the shirts we wear; the booklet we hand out titled “Our Flag” was provided by Sen. Tom Coburn’s office; and Krispy Kreme donates their doughnuts for us to sell,” Farmer, flag coordinator for the program, said.

In addition to Farmer, veterans Billy May, Gary Hanson and Harmon Thompson presented the colors, talked about the various folds of the flag and their meanings, and showed an vintage Red Skelton video about the meaning behind the Pledge of Allegiance.

This group of veterans, representing all branches of the military, travel from school to school across the state teaching children about the importance of our flag and, during their program, they also present the school principal with a new flag for the school.

“We always try to do something around Veterans Day because that day is important to us’ we have students whose parents have served,” Central Junior High Principal David Peak said. “One of the purposes of school is for students to understand their responsibilities as citizens and when we can bring people in from outside the school to do that, we do it.

“Our students have not had to participate in any wars, veterans are an incredible resource that we can use to help our students gain a broader sense of their world,” he said.