How did you first learn to show respect for the U.S. flag?
For me, it was through Girl Scouts. I remember placing my hand over my heart and saying the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the Girl Scout Promise when the colors were presented at the start of our Brownie meetings. Around age 8, I recall anxiously participating in the Color Guard ceremony, always concerned the flag might touch the ground (as the shortest kid in class, I might have been better suited to call out commands than be the flag bearer, but let’s just say my assertive go-getter nature started early on).
My first experience hoisting a flag to the top of a flagpole was at Girl Scout Camp. In fact, a lot of firsts came from camp – horseback riding, bonfire-building, tie-dyeing, canoeing, tent-camping, performing in front of a crowd, and rooming with other girls – memorable experiences that built my confidence and gave me a foundation for future opportunities.
During high school, I became a camp counselor spending the summer months under the pseudonym “Hippy”, donning peace signs, tie-dye, and Grateful Dead gear, and sharing the magic of camp with younger Girl Scouts. Each session would end with a closing ceremony in which the flag was lowered, folded into a triangle, and Taps was sung. The final ceremony of the summer was especially difficult as we said good-bye; it’s the first time I recall a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes while gazing upon our flag.
Fast-forward 25+ years to owning a flag business… when presented with the chance to teach Girl Scouts how to show respect for the flag, I’ve welcomed the opportunity! We’ve invited Troops to Fly Me Flag, shared the flag’s symbols and etiquette, discussed its evolution, demonstrated how to fold a flag, practiced a flag ceremony, and even let the kids take turns raising and lowering a flag on a real flagpole. I hope this experience instills a sense of pride and appreciation for the American flag that sticks with them forever.
~ Stacey Stewart, Co-Owner of Fly Me Flag