Thompson Falls American Legion Post 52 retires flags on Flag Day

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Jun. 22—Under cloudy skies June 14, members of American Legion Post 52 showed the ultimate respect for the U.S. flag — a symbol that many have sacrificed much for.

Flag Day has a special meaning with past and present veterans. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official U.S. flag.

Post Commander Ken Matthiesen conducted the flag retiring proceedings in Thompson Falls, along with Vice Commander Charlotte Beaudry and Sergeant-at-arms Don Burrell. Flags that flew over homes, public buildings and soldiers' graves that are faded and torn were collected over the past year to be retired on Flag Day. Many of the Post members were present to help during the ceremony, with over 200 flags being retired, along with two POW flags, two Marine flags and one Confederate flag.

Many believe that Betsy Ross designed the first flag, but no proof of this has been found. Records do show that Ross sewed ensigns and pennants for the Philadelphia navy during the war. Legend also has placed the flag being first flown during the battle of Cooch's Bridge in 1777.

On Jan. 1, 1776, the first U.S. flag, called the Grand Union, was flown by George Washington.

June 14, 1777, the Stars and Stripes were officially adopted by the Continental Congress.

June 14, 1877, Flag Day was observed nationally for the first time.

June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania was the first state to celebrate Flag Day.

July 4, 1960, the flag with 50 stars was first flown.

American Legion Post 52 is part of a National organization that contributes to many local community programs. Membership is at 56 members and growing with most current members serving during the Vietnam conflict, with two members serving in the early 1950s.

During the Huckleberry Festival in August, American Legion Post 52 will be raffling a new 22LR rifle. Tickets will be available for $1 each during the festival.

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