DEADWOOD, S.D. — We begin back in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson established June 14 as Flag Day, commemorating the adoption of the stars and stripes in 1777.
Americans here and across the nation take time to display the red, white and blue and host flag day ceremonies. One of those presentations was in Deadwood, staged at Outlaw Square by the Elks Lodge 508, along with the VFW and Boy Scouts. Elks Lodge members gave the history of the flag and all it stands for.
“As Elks, we are distinctively American,” said Deadwood Mayor and Lodge Exalted Ruler, David Ruth Jr. “We recognize our flag as it’s crowning principle of charity. And it’s nice to do it in touching here in Deadwood, because Deadwood was the first town to get an act of congress to be able to fly their flag 24 hours a day at Mt. Moriah.”
Over the past 241 years, there have been 27 variations of the flag, with the most recent being a design created by a high school student in 1958. Through all its iterations, flag code has been used to ensure no disrespect is shown to the flag.
That includes never letting the flag touch the ground or anything beneath it, never being worn as apparel, bedding, or drapery, never used for advertising, or printed on handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes or anything designed for temporary use, as well as rules for displaying the flag. Along with honoring the flag, Mayor Ruth recognized the Deadwood city flag, which was designed by school children and adopted in 1987.
“It’s important to remember also the creation of our city flag,” said Ruth. “Recognize those kids who are now adults who had a hand in designing what our flag looks like and explaining the history of it as well.”
Flag Day is not a federal holiday, but the week has been designated National Flag Week.