Patriotism has characterized the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America since the early days of the organization. Allegiance to the flag of our country is a requirement of every member.

In 1907, the BPO Elks Grand Lodge designated by resolution June 14 as Flag Day. The Grand Lodge of the Order adopted mandatory observance of the occasion by every Lodge in 1911, and that requirement continues.

The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the Order's observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression. But it was not until 1949 when President Harry Truman, himself a member of the Elks, made the proclamation that thereafter June 14 would be a day of national observance for the symbol of our country.

The flags were presented by member Thom McDermott while the history of the flag was read by member Jim Yager. Lodge secretary, Jerry Shook, PSP, read the response. The oration was given by retired Special Master Sergeant Terry Brew. Music during the service was made by the skilled hands of Lodge Organist John Deane.

All photos by Tammy McDermott.