The Mesquite Elks Lodge #2811 invites the public to attend the annual Flag Day Ceremony performed by the Elks Lodge, Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 8 a.m. at Veteran’s Park, 501 Hillside Drive.  In addition to members of the Mesquite Elks Lodge, members of Cub Scout Pack 8 and Boy Scout Troop 60, members of the Mesquite Veterans Center, Bagpiper Dennis Hangey and local resident Brian Wursten, singing the Star-Spangled Banner, will also participate in the ceremony.  Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony.   Some chairs will be provided, but citizens are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

The history of the American Flag began when the Continental Congress replaced the British Grand Union flag with a new American Flag.  Betsy Ross, who was a seamstress in Philadelphia, is credit with designing and making the first official American Flag that the Continental Congress adopted on June 14, 1777.  The American Flag is also nicknamed “Old Glory” or “star-spangled banner.”

In June 1886, Bernard Cigrand first proposed Flag Day in an article he wrote in the old Chicago Argus newspaper titled “The Fourteenth of June.”  His efforts to establish an official Flag Day finally became a reality when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nation-wide observance of our flag on June 14, 1916.  It finally became official over thirty years later when President Truman signed legislation in 1949 proclaiming June 14 as Flag Day.

The Elks, however, have been observing Flag Day even before these Presidential actions.  It was first celebrated at the Grand Lodge Session in Philadelphia in 1907.  It was originally called “Elks Flag Day.”  The Elks were the first fraternal organization to celebrate Flag Day and did so long before it became a nation-wide practice.

The members of the Mesquite Elks Lodge are dedicated to maintaining this patriotic observance and welcome all citizens to join us in the celebration to the American Flag.  Everyone is encouraged to display the flag at their homes and businesses honoring this great symbol and the freedoms it represents