Article provided by Anna Brown, Owner of Union County News
Woodmen Chapter #323 in Union held a ceremony on April 7 to donate and dedicate a flagpole at USC Union’s Central Building.
Speakers included history professor Dr. Allan Charles, Dean Dr. Randy Lowell, Union County Supervisor candidate Phillip Russell and Woodmen Life South Carolina Jurisdictional National Rep. Phillip Hagan.
Charles spoke on the importance of the building and how it had served generations of students. Lowell thanked the chapter for the donation. “It adds lot to this building,” he said.
Russell said there is no symbol that represents our country more than our nation’s flag. “Our nation’s flag has a storied history that goes back to June 14, 1777 when our nation’s first Continental Congress passed the ‘Flag Resolution,’ Russell said. “And while in the beginning there were many variations, the flag we have today is known throughout the world and all who live in our great country.”
Each component of the flag has a meaning, Russell said. The 13 alternating red and white stripes represent the original 13 colonies and each of the 50 5-point stars represents each state of the United States. These stars have also been associated with our divine existence and being founded as one nation, under God.
“Even the colors have meaning,” Russell said. “Red stands for our valor as a nation. White stands for purity. Blue stands for vigilance and justice.”
The symbol of our nation’s flag has always stirred patriotism and pride, Russell said. “The poem, ‘The Defense of Fort McHenry’ written by Francis Scott Key became the words to our National Anthem,” Russell said. “This poem was pinned after a night of British bombardment on Fort McHenry. And that morning, our flag was still there.”
“When our flag flies high, it is a symbol of what a great nation we are,” he said. “And when it flies at half-staff, it represents we are a mournful nation, paying respect for one who has served us well or for one or more who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, state or local territories serving within the military or public safety. A proclamation and guidance for flying our flag at half-staff was provided to us in 1954 by President Dwight Eisenhower. Our flag’s status can be found each day by looking at Adminapps.sc.gov. If you provide your email, a notice will be sent to you any time our governor issues a half-staff order.”
Russell said it is with much association that our nation and state flags will fly at the University of South Carolina Union campus.
“This campus has served our great City of Union and Union County for nearly 60 years and has provided education and has created leaders for both our nation, our state and Union County locally,” he said. “I would like to thank Woodmen of the World and USC Union leadership for reminding students, guests and those how drive by that we do indeed live in the ‘Land of the Free of the Home of the Brave.’”
Phillip Hagan, Deannie Rector, Dr. Allan Charles, Dr. Randy Lowell, C.B Jolly, Doris Jolly and Phillip Russell participate in the flagpole donation ceremony at USC Union’s Central Building. Not pictured are Jean and Crystal Fowler. (Joni Long photo)