JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Region 8 residents gathered together Thursday to pay tribute to one of our country's greatest symbols. . .the United States flag.
Representatives with the Elks Lodge hosted a flag ceremony at the Mall at Turtle Creek.
Arkansas State Elks Association President Dennis Darrow said it's about paying tribute to those who have served and are serving now.
"We want people out here to understand what the Elks are all about," Darrow said. "We want to honor our veterans and first responders. That's why we're here. We have a flag presentation and we want to educate people on the history of our flags, from the very first one to the one that's flying right now."
Several people spoke about our country's history and a presentation was also given on the meaning behind each flag that has flown.
"We want people to understand the importance of the flag," Darrow said. "That it is a symbol, but it is a symbol of the United States and we need to respect it. We just need to respect it. People don't, we're trying to educate them, so they do."
Jeremy Frakes, who serves as president of the Jonesboro Elks Lodge, said the group wants people to understand what our flag means.
"We want to honor our nation's heritage and history of the flag," Frakes said. "We want to spread that message out to a lot of our community. We want to spread how our flag began and evolved up to the present fifty stars and stripes."
Frakes said it's about educating people.
"We're hoping this will give people a little bit of a history lesson," Frakes said. "That's what we're hoping they'll take away. It'll be like 'I didn't know that about our flag' or I didn't know that about the meaning behind it. So, give them a little history and meaning behind different flags that have flown over our nation throughout its history up to the present day."
Darrow said they want to impart respect for our country and its sacred symbols.
"The respect for the flag and the history, from the very first one to the one we have now," Darrow said. "There's ten flags up there, plus the POW-MIA flag. We still fly that, and we will continue to fly it until everybody's home."
Frakes said they hold this event every year.