by Keith Richardson
Have you ever walked through your town, and seen something which “needed fixing,” and wished you could do something?
This question applies to groups, as well as to individuals. The Knights of Columbus is such a group; they see things and offer to help.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, men’s, family, service organization. It was founded in 1882, and has grown to almost two million members, worldwide. It provides services in four program areas: Faith, Family, Life, and Community. It aspires to exemplify, or act out, its four core Principles: Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. The Principle of Patriotism is specifically designated to the Fourth Degree, the highest level of Knighthood within the Order.
Going back to the first question, as it pertains to Patriotism, we know that many people and businesses will have an American flag displayed at their home, or places of business. Through no fault of their own, over time, these flags will show signs of wear-and-tear. That is where organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, come into play. Through a Fourth Degree program called “Restoring Pride: One Flag at a Time,” they offer to replace faded, worn-out flags, at no cost to the owner.
“The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” This is a direct quote from the U.S. Flag Code.
On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, the flag was replaced at a local business in South China: Bar Harbor Bank and Trust. After discussions, and with the permission of the bank, the Fourth Degree of the District of Maine, held a ceremony at the South China branch. The old, faded, and tattered flag was replaced with a new flag in a respectful ceremony. The new flag had been previously flown over the United States Capitol Building, at the request of Senator Susan Collins, for the specific programs of Abnaki Assembly, Knights of Columbus, Augusta.
Participating in the ceremony were: Sir Knight Miles Brookes, Gardiner, District Master for Maine; Sir Knight Keith Richardson, South China, District Marshal for Maine; Ashley Perry; Fawn Finley; and Courtney Bonsant.
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