June 10, 2014
By Andy Costello
Photos by Mike Marquis
California, Hawaii Elks Association State Vice President Dave Coffin and his Corps of District Committee Chairpersons visited our Lodge on June 10th. SVP Coffin and his team gave the Lodge high grades in all areas of Lodge management and committee accomplishments. He complimented our Lodge President (Exalted Ruler) Derek Randles and the Lodge officers and members, highlighting the Lodge's outstanding contributions to the Saddleback Valley community, children's charities, and veteran's benefit programs.
In his remarks to the members, SVP Coffin spoke of the Elks' Flag Day ceremony saying, "It is to be expected that an organization dedicated to patriotic service such as ours, should seek to promote a proper knowledge of, and respect for, the American Flag and all that it represents." Our Order of Elks has done this in many ways. Perhaps the most effective of our prescribed activities is the Flag Day Service.
The idea of a Flag Day Service was first suggested to our Order by the then Grand Exalted Ruler at the 1907 Grand Lodge Session in Philadelphia. Each Elk Lodge was and is required to conduct this service annually on June 14th, the anniversary of the birth of the American Flag. It was not until August 3, 1949,that then President of the United States Harry Truman signed Public Law 203, designating June 14 as Flag Day." Coffin added, "So we can be proud of the fact that our Order was not only the first fraternal organization to celebrate Flag Day, but had made this ceremony mandatory many years before the date on which the observance became a nationwide practice by legal decree."