Veterans groups have bought 1,200 American flags for Columbus City Schools after learning that the district did not have enough actual flags to accommodate students wishing to participate in the new state policy of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance daily.
The Associated Press notes that the new policy requires schools to begin each day with the Pledge of Allegiance (students, however, may choose not to participate). Columbus teachers had previously improvised with flags printed on pieces of paper or projected onto classroom walls when the new policy was first implemented at the start of the school year.
Columbus-area veterans groups banded together to bring new flags to city classrooms after a Columbus Dispatch story revealed a shortage. NBC 4 reported on the flag shortage in August:
The VFW donated 700 brand new flags and the local American Legion supplied another 500.
“I said we’ll do whatever we need to do,” said Bill Seagraves, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ohio Charities, to the Dispatch. “I said we’ll buy them all or we’ll buy a portion of them.”
The Dispatch notes that the 2-foot-by-4-foot cloth flags were made in the United States and cost the two groups almost $10,000 combined. The flags were delivered last month and have already been distributed to classrooms.
“One of our purposes that the Veterans of Foreign Wars was founded, and the American Legion, is the promotion of patriotism, and that’s one of the things we do best,” said Gerald Ward, VFW state commander. “This is part of it — a prime example.”
Board of Education members have thanked the veteran groups for helping the district accommodate to the new policy.