Advanced Search

Flags for first-graders waves on

Personal flags, coloring books, a better understanding of “The Pledge of Allegiance” and the history of our country’s flag will be among the benefits reaped by thousands of first-graders around the region as Flags for First Graders begins again in area schools. In January, Jim Brock will embark on his sixth year of presenting the program to all first-graders in Prince William, Manassas, Quantico and area private schools.

Brock began Flags for First Graders in a few schools in 2005 and admits it’s getting tougher to keep up with as it continues to grow; it reached some 7,000 first-graders last year. The program is funded by American Legion Posts 10 in Manassas, Brock’s home base; 1799 in Haymarket; 364 in Woodbridge and 128 in Dumfries/Triangle, along with the Forty & Eight Voiture 1569, which is also located at 99950 Cockrell Road in Manassas with Post 10.

Brock explained that the Forty & Eight is an organization composed of outstanding legionnaires who join by invitation only and who participate in community service. The organization was founded in 1920 when thousands of U.S. soldiers were transported to and from the French front in narrow boxcars called voitures, which could transport either 40 men or eight horses.

Although Brock offers his services for free, there are costs: the thousands of miniature flags, certificates and flag coloring books he gives to students, and the pamphlets on proper flag etiquette sent home to parents. Each legion post foots the bill for students in its area; the materials are printed by the school division’s printing center and transported to the schools to await Brock’s arrival.

The 35- to 40-minute presentations are offered from January to April and are sanctioned and sponsored by the school division’s department of social studies. “The Pledge of Allegiance” and respect for the flag are part of the first-graders’ social studies curriculum.

Jeff Girvan, Prince William County Public Schools supervisor of history and social science said he appreciates the participation of Brock and other volunteers. “I think it’s commendable that Mr. Brock and volunteers from the American Legion take their time to help instill a sense of pride and patriotism for our nation. I appreciate their hard work and dedication in supporting our students,” Girvan said.

Read the full story in the print version of the Observer.

Link to This Article

Copy and paste the code below on your site to link to the article.

<a href="">Flags for first-graders waves on</a>

Follow Us on Twitter!/bullrunnow
Welcome Guest! | Login