Flag Day – Never a Better Time

Flag Day – Never a Better Time


There couldn’t be a better time to attend Flag Day services – June 1914. Speakers would praise the flag’s ability to unify an America stressed by involvement in far away lands, rough politics, and a third party candidate resulting in a President some believe unfairly elected. The places: Philippines and Europe; Presidents: Wilson (D) vs. Taft (R) vs. T. Roosevelt (Bull Moose)1 differ, but the 1914 speeches resonate still.

After Elks Lodge 616 observed Flag Day in 1909 and 1912 within regular meetings, Flag Day 1913 was more public. Members, family, and friends crowded the King Street Lodge rooms. Schofield Barracks’ 1st Field Artillery band provided music. With red, white, and blue flowers, the Esquire and Officers built a Liberty Bell, while telling the bell’s story. In a patriotic oration Judge Sanford B. Dole,2 called the flag a symbol of unity (many stars / states) and of freedom (slavery ended). The flag promised, he said, an end to white slavery, future women’s equality3, and working men “delivered from the tyranny of capital.” Dole’s denunciation of capital surely gave the predominantly capitalist Elks pause, but the press reported his speech strongly applauded.

Flag Day 1914 was held in a “filled to overflowing” Opera House decorated with flowers, flags and bunting. Music by the Hawaiian Band, Elk Henry Berger conducting, accompanied the Boys’ Chorus, each boy holding a small flag.

Keynoter PER Harry E. Murray called the first Stars & Stripes “an audacious piece of bunting, crudely woven,” the “first flag born to represent a people rather than a monarchy.” This flag, country, and people “thrived and expanded until it gave to the world a new country, a new model of citizenship.”

PER Murray summarized the recent election controversy concluding: “In no other country and under no other flag would these great questions have been settled so peaceably…[Citizens] battled for what they believed was right at the polls.”

America continues to face national debates on policy and direction each election year. Prepare yourself: attend Flag Day services, listen, think. Make real PER Murray’s words, 90 years later. Battle for what YOU believe is right at the polls– support a candidate. Be audacious, prove yourself a model citizen – register to vote.

Anita Manning, Lodge Historian

Advertiser 1913 Jun 15; 1914 Jun 15
Minutes 616 1909 May 7, Jun 4; 1912 Jun 14
Star Bulletin 1913 Jun 16

[1] 1912: Teddy Roosevelt split Republican votes. Wilson lost the popular vote, but won the Electoral College vote. Second term, he took the country into World War I, despite campaign promises to keep America out of war.

[2] Yes, that S. B. Dole, the revolutionary and Republic President. Tired of politics, in 1903 he resigned as Territorial Governor mid-term filling a vacant Federal judgeship. Dole was not a 616 member.

[3] Translation: no to prostitution; yes to suffrage (voting rights) for women [took 6 more years].

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