CRYSTAL LAKE – It is not unusual for the American flag to hang in the gymnasium at Hannah Beardsley Middle School in Crystal Lake; however, on Saturday afternoon, 27 stood on display. To the surprise of McHenry County Girl Scouts, those 27 flags were all at one time or another, the official flag of the United States of America.
Fourth-grader Emma Cox of Troop 180 was among the attendees who was impressed by the large number.
“I was like, ‘Wow, there’s so many flags,’ ” Emma said.
Fellow Troop 180 Girl Scouts Katie Ellison, Maria Egan and Katie Hall shared Emma’s enthusiasm and were anxious to jump into the afternoon activities.
The Kishwaukee Trail Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented the “Our Flag” program to McHenry County Girl Scout troops Saturday afternoon featuring a flag ceremony, flag folding demonstration, flag history and flag etiquette.
“It’s interesting and important for the girls to learn about the historical significance of the flag,” said Troop 180 leader Erin Hall of Crystal Lake. “It’s a basic and key part of girl Scouting and who better to learn from than the experts?”
The mission of the DAR is to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.
“There isn’t enough taught in the public schools on this matter and we hope to teach young women to have a sense of patriotic pride,” Kishwaukee Trail Chapter Regent Patricia Holcomb said.
Chairman of the event and DAR Honorary Chapter Regent, Catherine Carlton, designed a DAR flag patch to be awarded to all of the Girl Scouts who attended the demonstration. Carlton said that after 9-11 she wanted to perform a community service that would promote patriotism and education for our country.
“Not everyone knows what the flag signifies,” Carlton said. “It’s not just a piece of material, it’s a symbol of freedom.”
Girl Scout Choctaw Service Unit Manager Elizabeth Molyneaux said that the mission of DAR is very similar to the mission of the Girl Scouts.
“Patriotism is a big part of Girl Scouting and it’s important that the girls have an appreciation for the flag and better understand its meaning,” Molyneaux said.
The Girl Scouts spent 25-minute intervals at each station learning any and all things American flag related.
Attendees also folded pocket flags for deployed military and food items were collected for the Crystal Lake Food Pantry.