King City Lions hand out flags to first-graders every year

by: BARBARA SHERMAN - PATRIOTIC AND PROUD - Students in Tammy Estrada's first-grade class proudly hold the flags they have just received as King City Lions Janie Berry of Newberg and Rupert Fixott of the Highlands place flags in stands before handing them out to the rest of the class.Several members of the King City Lions Club descended on Deer Creek Elementary on Feb. 28 to hand out American flags to all the first-graders, which is an annual event.

The event was originally scheduled for earlier in the month, but a mid-winter snow storm caused schools to be closed on the day of the original presentation, so it was rescheduled, and the kids were more anxious than ever for the Lions to arrive.

Each student got his or her own flag plus a wooden stand to hold it and a pamphlet that explained the history of the American flag.

"The flag you receive today, although small in size, is as valuable as the largest flag ever made," the pamphlet stated. "Take the flag home with you. It is your flag. Put it where you can look at it every day. Be happy and proud that you have your own flag."

The pamphlet also provided facts about the flag, including its three distinctive colors: red is for courage, white is for liberty, and blue is for loyalty. The flag has seven red and six white stripes, which stand for the original 13 colonies.

The blue field with 50 stars is called "The Union" and stands for the union of 50 states.

From sunrise to sunset in Washington, D.C., the flag flies over the White House when the President is there, but it is not raised when the President is not there.

The pamphlet also tells the history of the flag, noting that at the start of the Revolutionary War, Americans fought under many different flags. After the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress chose a flag similar to the current one but with only 13 stars.

In 1795, Congress added two stripes and two stars to the flag but in 1818 returned to the original 13 stripes, adding more stars as new states became part of the United States.

In Tammy Estrada's class, the first-graders recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the Lions members in their room before the flags were handed out.

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