Students excel in flag education testing
South Adams fourth grader Travis Clingenpeel learned in recent testing that the stars in the American flag have to appear in the upper left hand corner of the flag.
"We salute the flag because it represents our freedom," said Clingenpeel.
For Braden Baumer, new information in studying for the testing is the fact that Flag Day is June 14.
"That is the day we celebrate our flag because it is our symbol of freedom," said Baumer.
Ron Bollenbacher, representing the local American Legion, said that each year the American Legion provides opportunities for local students to participate in testing concerning the American flag and the importance of the service of the military.
"If we have a large number get perfect scores, then those who advance to the next level are chosen by their essays," said Bollenbacher. "We had eight students (fourth graders) at South Adams get perfect scores. Gabe Bailey and Natalie Beall were selected as the top two to move on as a result of their essays."
Concerning the program, South Adams Elementary principal Brian Strauss said, "I think this is great. The fourth grade is studying Indiana history this year. For students to have the experience learning about the importance of our flag and country just fits in perfect with their studies."
"I learned that we fly the flag at half staff on Memorial Day in honor of those who gave their lives for our country," said Austin McKibben. "We do this because we know that people died serving our country. It means a lot that they did that."
"When we salute the flag, we are saluting those who fought for our freedom," said district qualifier Gabe Bailey. "Because they did that, our country is free. The country means more to me since I have studied this."
The test deals with such topics as the meaning of the flag, important early dates to the flag, responsibilities of citizens to the flag and certain procedures in relation to honoring the flag. Students are also asked to write an essay on the question, "What do you think about when you see our country's flag?"
Beall said that she understands better why flags are flown at half-staff when government officials die.
"I've never noticed a flag flying at half staff before," said Beall. "The flag represents our country, freedom and all of the people who have served in war. It tells us that we are going to be safe because our soldiers will fight and win."
"I learned a lot about the flag. The test was hard; I had read some of the things about it before," commented Becca Bertsch, who also earned a perfect score. "The thing I learned the most is that we are in a free land."
Jenna Myers said that studying the book that went along with the test (Our Country's Flag) taught her about the creation of the flag and the writing of the National Anthem.
"The flag is there to help us respect those who served our country," said Myers. "I feel good about living in a free country because God is the one that made this all come to pass and we have the freedom to go to church on Sunday and thank Him."
"I learned how when they raise the flag in the military, everyone stands at attention and salutes to honor our country and veterans," commented Jack Wallace. "It feels awesome to be in a free country like this. There are a lot of places where they don't have the freedom of education and clean water like we do here. The flag stands for our country's liberty."
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