Last year, Greater Pine Island VFW Post 4353 launched the American Flag Exchange Program with support from Elks Lodge 2781 and American Legion Post 136. Funds were raised through donations and the program has collected unusable flags and replaced them with free flags. More than 50 flags were distributed.
Recently, on June 14, 2022, Flag Day, Elks Lodge 2781 held a ceremony centered on the history of the American flag. This ceremony was open to the community and Mariner High School JROTC participated.
American Legion Post 136 had a worthy flag layout at dusk on the same day with a very large amount of flags laid out according to established guidelines. VFW Post 4353 also disposed of a large quantity of flags during the year from the Brotherhood of Heroes Museum in Cape Coral. Matlacha Fire District, Station 2 and Captain Cliff Simer were on hand to ensure a safe and controlled process.
The program is entering its second year with the same objectives and needs. Donations will be accepted by VFW Post 4353, 8150 Stringfellow Road, St. James City; call 239-283-2277 for more information.
This year, the First Grade Flags program will begin at Pine Island Elementary School, which will educate students about etiquette as well as the history of our American flag. Groups will continue to make flag presentations and will remain vigilant to ensure that worn and tattered flags are disposed of properly and replaced as needed.