MONARCH — School is not only a time for students to learn the information in their textbooks it is also a time to learn about citizenship and responsibility and one of the things they learn is that as American citizens there are few responsibilities more sacred than taking care of the American Flag
Known also as “Old Glory,” “The Stars and Stripes,” and “The Red, White, and Blue,” the Flag of the United States of America flies atop the flagpoles that stand out in front of America’s schools including the schools of the Union County School District. The flags are raised each morning at the beginning of the school day and are lowered in the afternoon at its conclusion and properly stored until time to be raised again.
At many schools, the flag of the state in which the schools are located flies just below Old Glory and is treated with the same respect by those responsible for raising, lowering, and storing it. In South Carolina it is the “Palmetto Flag,” the flag of the State of South Carolina, that flies in the second place of honor on the flagpoles of the schools of this state.
The flags are usually raised and lowered by students who have been selected for that great honor and that was recently the case at Monarch Elementary School.
In a statement released earlier this week, Monarch Elementary announced that students Andrew Anders, Wyatt Yarbrough, and Blyth Long had been selected to serve as the school’s “Official Flag Guardians for the 2017-2018 school year.”
As Official Flag Guardians, the press release states the students will “raise, lower, and store the United States and South Carolina flags each morning and afternoon. During the day, they are responsible for monitoring conditions for inclement weather.”
The press release concludes by offering “congratulations to these fine young men for displaying and caring for our country and state flags.”
Congratulations indeed, because it is both a great honor and a great responsibility to have the flags of the United States of America and the State of South Carolina placed in your hands. These are the flags that represent, respectively, this nation and this state, and so they are to be treated with respect because in doing so, those charged with their care show respect for America and South Carolina. Also, by treating the American and South Carolina flags with such respect, they are setting an example for others on how these flags should be viewed and treated.
As Americans and as South Carolinians or, for that matter, as citizens of any of the rest of the 50 states represented by the stars on the Stars and Stripes, we enjoy the freedoms that come from being citizens of this great nation and its constituent states. Those freedoms, enshrined in the constitutions of the constituent states and, most importantly of all, in the Constitution of the United States of America, are represented by the flags of this nation and the individual states. That’s why those flags deserve to be treated with respect and why it is such an honor to be an Official Flag Guardian.
So congratulations to these young men, may you always perform your duties as Official Flag Guardians with dignity and honor, giving the banners you raise, lower, and store the respect they deserve. May you also through your efforts inspire others to always respect and love Old Glory and the Palmetto Flag and the freedoms for which they stand.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.