Third grades learn flag history

Register Reporter

Register/Anne Kazmierczak
Retired Sgt. Maj. Alfred Link talks to Terri Carlin and Amy Welch’s third grade students about flag history and etiquette at McKinley Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon.

Retired Sgt. Maj. Alfred Link and retired Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Beyers Tuesday gave a lesson in flag history and etiquette to McKinley Elementary School third graders.
The students of Terri Carlin and Amy Welch listened attentively as Link explained the evolution of the flag’s design, plus proper display and use of the flag as a symbol.
While protocol developed by the American Legion has not changed, some restrictions, such as using the flag in advertising or printing it on disposable items such as tableware, are uniformly ignored.
One interesting note was the explanation of how a flag is traditionally folded. While Link said, “there is no flag code for folding,” flags are folded 13 times, each fold an homage, including to fallen individuals, to women and motherhood, to life and to God.
The “cocked hat” triangle of blue stars that results from the folds is reminiscent of “the hats worn by Revolutionary War soldiers under George Washington,” Beyers said.
After the presentation, the class was given a test. A handful of students replicated a parade where a flag passed by, each student in the guise of a man with a hat, a soldier, etc. Their classmates were asked to thumbs-up or -down them on their response to the flag’s passing.
It took a of couple tries, but the hatted man removed his cap and placed it at his shoulder, the soldier saluted in silence and the others placed their hands over their hearts, all the proper responses.
Link and Beyers then gave each student a small flag of their own, confident they would be displayed respectfully.