photo is the participants of the Elks Flag Day Ceremony, back row, members of the Elks Lodge, 2nd row, VFW Post 2123 Honor Guard and front row Colonel James Wood II Compatriots and American Legion Post #21 Riders
On 14 June 2022, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution participated in a Flag Ceremony sponsored by Elks Lodge #867 on the Walking Mall in Winchester. The event was supported by American Legion Post 21 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2123. When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, the colonists weren't fighting under a single flag. Most regiments participating in the War for Independence fought under their own flags. The units were the local and state militias. In 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to create the Continental Army. This was to be a unified colonial fighting force with hopes of a more organized battle against the British. On 14 June the Army was officially formed with authorization for the enlistment of expert riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year. This also led to the creation of what was, essentially the first "American" Flag, the Continental Colors. Two years later, 14 June 1777, the continental Congress passed a resolution stating "the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white" and "the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation." With the addition of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union, two stripes and two stars were added in 1794. With the westward expansion of the United States and the addition of more states, Congress realized that adding stripes to the flag would be impractical. So Congress passed the Flag Act in 1818, restoring the original 13-stripe design with one star added for each additional State. In 1885, Bernard Cegrand, a small-town Wisconsin teacher originated the idea for an annual flag day, to be celebrated across the country every June 14. That year, he led his school in the first formal observance of the holiday. It was on 30 May 1916, that President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing a national Flag Day on June 14. It was not until August 1949 that an Act of Congress declared 14 June as National Flag Day.
Dave Gardiner, exalted ruler of B.P.O.E. Lodge #867 emcee'd the event with members of the lodge providing readings and presentations of 9 American Flags beginning with the Continental Colors, which had the 13 alternating stripes and the Union Jack in the canton. It was first flown in December of 1775. The progressed through the the changes to the national colors up to the current 50 star flag. An additional tribute was paid to the POW/MIA flag. Elks Lodge participants included Esteemed Leading Knight Robyn Ann martin, Esteemed lecturing Knight Bryan Burnes, 5 Year Trustee Jim Venable, 2 Year Trustee Jay Marts, Chaplain Mel Poling, Jimmy Lee who provided the music and Wayne Graham Past Exalted Ruler and Vietnam Veteran who carried the POW/MIA Flag. Members of the Compatriots from the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution who participated included Sean Carrigan, Dale Corey, Thomas "Chip" Daniel and Kelly Ford. American Legion Post #21 Legion riders from Winchester alternately presented flags during the readings were Andy Vaughn, Tony Ferrell, Steve Renner and Ann Painter. The National Anthem was played; Pledge of Allegiance recited; a rifle salute and the playing of Taps from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2123 and the singing of God Bless America