By SERINA MARSHALL
Staff Writer [email protected]
The Town of Jonesborough will be honoring the nation’s flag at the first annual Flag Ceremony to be held at Veteran’s Park on June 14.
Flag Committee Chairman Ruth Verhegge and Washington County Attorney Allyson Wilkinson created the event to bring attention to the importance and history of the flag.
“I’m working with Allyson Wilkinson who is in the Daughters of the American Revolution. Last year, she mentioned to me that we needed to do something for Flag Day, but it was real close. This year, she reminded me a little further out, so I said ‘Okay let’s do it!” Verhegge said. “It’s going to be about a 30-minute ceremony. We will have a color guard, and it will be the Sons of the Revolution. We will then have a mother and son singing ‘You’re a Grand Ole Flag,’ and the son is getting ready to leave for the Navy this summer.”
In addition, Verhegge said that the Mayor of Jonesborough, Chuck Vest, will speak, as well as newly elected Sheriff Keith Sexton.
“Sheriff Sexton will then introduce our State Representative Rebecca Alexander; she has gotten us a flag that flew over the Capitol and she will present it to the town,” she said. “It won’t be a long ceremony, but we just think it is so important to start educating people about the flag.”
With chapters all over the country, DAR is a non-profit and non-political women’s service organization. And Wilkinson said that when you start from that position, you can really celebrate and promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.
“That’s where we come in. We want to encourage that strong patriotic feeling and respect for the flag and United States of America, because each of us descends from a patriot,” Wilkinson explained. “A patriot is not just someone who served in the military. It can be some- one who made gunpowder, who served the cause and are deemed patriots who aren’t actually in the infantry.
“It is DAR’s view that every veteran follows in the footsteps of these patriots. To keep the flag flying, to keep it flying under all conditions — and we also have a lot of education programs. DAR’s position is that we secure America’s future through better education for our children and adults. By having education programs about the rules of the flag code, that it was actually adopted by the United States Congress, that President Wilson made Flag Day a holiday, all these little points really commemorate the adoption of the flag in 1777.”
It is Wilkinson’s and Verhegge’s hope that through education about the flag, as well as ceremonies such as the Flag Ceremony June 14, veterans, as well as civilians, can gain a new respect for Old Glory.
“I’m just so excited that Ruth wanted to do it and that the town was excited when we talked to them about it. Our town’s quality of life is very much evidenced by a Main Street with flags. Not every town has that,” Wilkinson said. “We have the preserved historic buildings, but those flags down our Main Street really say something about our town.”
The Flag Day Ceremony will take place at noon and all are invited to attend.
Look for more activities honoring the nation’s flag this month in upcoming issues of the Herald & Tribune.