Letter to the Editor: Where is the flag at Escalante Valley Elementary School?

Where is the United States Flag at Escalante Valley Elementary School?
The most significant symbol of our great country has been inconsistently flown on a day-to-day basis at Escalante Valley Elementary School, located in rural Iron County, Utah.
The flag is raised sporadically through the week, sometimes left over the weekend, and raised for numerous days at a time, through harsh weather, and unlit during nighttime hours. At one time, the flag went unraised for over three months.
Basic flag etiquette includes: the flag should be raised from sunrise to sunset; a flag flown at night should be properly illuminated with a dedicated spotlight; unless it is an all weather flag, the flag should be brought indoors during harsh weather. Flag code describes the flag as a living thing and it should be treated as such.
While it may not be required by law, it is suggested to fly the United States flag at every schoolhouse, during all school days. Public schools are owned by the government. Flying the flag shows respect for that, and it also teaches our children respect. By allowing them to raise the flag each morning, it instills a sense of patriotism in our children.
As a former student of Escalante Valley Elementary School, I remember the first day I was able to carry the United States flag out of the building and prepare it to be flown for the day. It was the job of the sixth graders, the oldest children in the school, an important responsibility – to raise the flag each morning and lower it at the end of the school day.
I remember striving to fold the flag perfectly and make certain that the flag never touched the ground. This was special to me. I was able to experience it with my brother and my uncle, together we always took great care and dedication. If and when the weather got bad during the school day, the flag was the first thought in our minds – in rain or snow we always rescued the FLAG!
Now as an adult, I am preparing myself to be an elementary teacher and the thought of my own elementary school not taking the same pride that was instilled in me saddens me to no end. If we are not teaching our young children this simple act of patriotism in our public schools, where and when will they learn it!
My reason for writing this is my mother – an Army mom. A mom that has sent her daughter, a soldier in the Army National Guard overseas to fight for this country – for my freedom and yours! An Army mom who now prepares to send her son, also a soldier in the Army National Guard, off to war to fight for our protection and freedom. As someone who has waited 12 long months for the safe return of her child, the beauty of the American flag is a comfort, a symbol, a confirmation of why her children have chosen to put themselves in harms way.
The patriotism of her children began at E.V.E.S., and today December 7, 2010, the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor stands the flagless pole in front this elementary school. At least the flag could have been raised today out of respect and remembrance for Pearl Harbor.
I hope that someday this school can recreate the tradition that has stayed with me through out my life, a memory of patriotism, responsibility and respect!
Whatever the reason this school has chosen not to make this a priority – be it politics, ignorance or mere laziness – let it be noted that they have offended me, my family and, I am certain, many others with their carelessness and lack of respect for the American flag. This is the United States of America we all should be proud to raise the flag each and every morning.
May God Bless America.
Rebecca Terry

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