Flag etiquette

Ralph Gardner of the 40 & 8 veterans’ group demonstrates the triangular fold of the U.S. flag to Fairview-Miss Jewell Elementary School students responsible for raising, lowering and folding the flag each school day.

Courtesy of CCISD

The stars must face up. The stripes are tucked tightly underneath. Horizontal folds result in a perfect military triangle.

Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School students recently learned proper flag etiquette and folding techniques from members of the 40 & 8 veterans’ organization. The members assisted the fifth-graders with the raising of the flag at the start of the school day while explaining the rules and regulations of flag use and display.

The director of ritual, Ralph Gardner, passed his knowledge down to the students.

“Our kids need this support,” Gardner said. “Our job is to help our community, to build it up and teach our kids the importance of community and working together.”

Gardner showed the students how to properly unfurl the flag from the folded position and get it ready to attach to the pole properly without touching the ground. They were also shown how to fold the flag and the significance of the reasons for all the flag rules.

Fifth-grader Kylee Terry stressed the importance of treating the flag with respect.

“It’s not just about folding it up just any which way, you have to do it right,” Terry said. “I also learned how to fold the flag and why the white is on top and the red is on the bottom. It’s because white is the water and the red signifies the blood.”

Gardner was pleased the students were open to his feedback and that they took what he showed them and right away fixed the things he suggested. Gardner and the other members of the 40 & 8 complimented the group, and told them they were doing a great job handling the flag with the utmost dignity and respect.

Students including Indigo Newburn also learned the reason for the flag’s folded shape.

“We learned that the flag is folded in a triangle because the people in the olden days wore hats on their heads in this shape,” Newburn said. “I had no idea they had hats that shape back then.”

The 40 & 8 veterans’ group also donated school supplies to the elementary school and is a regular donor to the students and staff.

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