The Owatonna Elks held their annual Flag Day Ceremony on Tuesday, June 14. The night began with Owatonna's VFW Post 3723 Color Guard presenting the Colors.

The Knights of Columbus Chorus sang "Star-Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless the USA" throughout the ceremony. Another way to honor our flag is by saying the pledge of allegiance. It was written in 1892 and became part of the flag code in 1942, with the phrase "under God" added in 1954.

The flag represents charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity.

The carrying of banners is a custom that is one representation of the people's government. The U.S. flag has seen a few changes from a pine tree on a white flag that represented the Continental Forces in 1775, to the Southern colonies' snake on a yellow flag from 1776-77.

The flag then went to the recommended 13 alternating red and white stripes with the coastal blue with the red cross of St. George and the white cross of St. Andrew in the right corner.

On June 14, 1777, Congress adopted that the flag should be 13 red and white alternating stripes representing the original colonies and a field of blue with 13 stars representing a new constellation. In 1795, two stars and stripes were added for the states Vermont and Kentucky.

It was during the War of 1812 that Francis Scott Key wrote "Star-Spangled Banner" in 1814 as he watched the flag being flown over Fort McHenry.

Congress then adopted in 1818 that the stripes would be 13 and stars would be added for each state added to the union. There were 28 states added before 1912. Then stars were added on July 4, 1959, for the state of Alaska and in 1960 for Hawaii.

Often our flag is accompanied by the POW/MIA flag, representing and honoring prisoners of war and those missing in action. The flag is flown each time our brave men and women have fought for freedom overseas and on our own land.

The Owatonna VFW Post 3723 then presented the folding of the flag. Here is a video that was recorded on Veterans Day last year.