Hardin Intermediate Pledges Allegiance to the Flag

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“I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Those words are spoken every morning in classrooms across the country, but Hardin Intermediate students are now carrying on that pledge throughout the day. The school recently began participating in the Fly, Lower, And Gather (FLAG) program.

Founded in 2010, FLAG was created to educate students about the flag’s history while instilling a sense of pride and patriotism in them. Hardin is one of 35 participating Texas schools. Assistant Principal Kim Edmondson says she learned about the program this school year through her father who had heard President and Founder Jim Rodriguez speak. “After looking at their information and talking to Mr. Rodriguez, I felt that the program would benefit both students and our school.” Twenty-five Hardin fifth and six graders are now responsible for raising the flag every morning and lowering it at the end of every school day.

Divided into five teams of five, different students are responsible for different days. But they’re all mentees of Sergeant First Class (SFC) Jeffrey Griffin – a local Army recruiter helping students learn proper flag procedures. Meeting once a month, SFC Griffin also emphasizes character and leadership lessons. And, he’s responsible for the program’s kick-off flag retirement ceremony. “He noticed that the flags being flown were not standard size,” explained Edmondson. “He took it upon himself to contact the local VFW, and they graciously donated new US and Texas flags.”

Holding a retirement ceremony on February 9, several of Hardin’s FLAG students lowered the stars and stripes that were going out of commission and presented them to Army veteran and Duncanville ISD Custodial Coordinator Butch Proctor in honor of every living and deceased member of the United States Armed Forces. SFC Griffin also talked to the ceremony attendees about the importance of honoring the flag, and Hardin students ended the assembly with a reading of the poem “Old Glory”. “I heard from many people that they learned a lot and were touched by the ceremony,” commented Edmondson. “We hope to expand the opportunity to more students and continue educating all of them in regards to the flag and the proper honor it deserves.”