"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."
In many schools across the United States of America a tradition continues that began in the late 1800’s – paying homage to the United States flag. On October 21, 1892, children in schools across the nation participated in an event to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ landing in North America. Among the patriotic activities of the day, the ritual of citing the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag began. Though we often still see this tradition today steeped in rich, prideful history, we also witness the significance and history of our flag has lost its luster for many.
In the Fall of 2010, Jim Rodriguez was doing like most parents, taking his daughter to school every morning. Day after day, as Jim dropped her off, he could not help but notice the American flag being raised in a manner not befitting this national treasure. The school employee assigned the task was doing his duties to the best of his knowledge and ability but was seen casually rolling up the flag and carrying it under his arm before securing it to the flagpole to be raised for the day.
No one noticed, and no one paused to pay their respect. It had become just a daily routine.
As a retired veteran of the United States Air Force, Jim couldn’t help but shudder, so he took action. He called the principal of the school and proposed an idea to engage the students in restoring the tradition, teaching them the history, the etiquette and proper protocol surrounding the American flag. He enlisted the services of Staff Sergeant Jose Rivera, a United States Army Recruiter, and together they launched the first class of the F.L.A.G. Program. The support they received from Waxahachie I.S.D. and the school’s student council and administrative staff helped to bring this dream to reality and the F.L.A.G. Program officially began.
The F.L.A.G. Program is committed to remembering the history of the United States flag, to instilling patriotism and pride back into our schools, and to never forgetting those who fight daily for our nation and our freedom.