The Rotary Club of Winnfield presented each school in the Winn Parish School District, as well as the Central Louisiana Technical & Community College, with a special United States flag on November 17, 2021.
What makes these particular flags special? Two things: first, each flag was flown over the United State Capitol Building, the building that represents the center of our government; second, each flag was presented in honor and appreciation of the men and women educated in each school who have served in any branch of the United States military. Each flag was assigned to a specific school by authorities of the United States Capitol, all seven were raised on a flag pole at the Capitol Building at the same time the morning of August 25, 2021, flown over the Capitol all day, and lowered at the same time that evening, and certified by the Architect of the Capitol Building to be presented to the selected school.
The idea behind getting special flags for each school in Winn Parish—the brainchild of Rotary member, Lee J. Taylor—was to “teach the children in our schools about patriotism, taking pride in the flag as the symbol of our country, and treating the flag with respect as it is a symbol of our United States, the greatest country in the world,” according to Mr. Taylor.
Rotarian Ted Wold obtained the flags with the assistance of the office of our Louisiana Senator, Bill Cassidy. He told the groups in attendance about the process: “The government has a process where we [the general public] can get flags flown over the Capitol, or the Pentagon, and a few other important governmental buildings, for personal use. In this case, to avoid delays in getting the flags delivered to us, I asked Senator Cassidy’s office to help make sure the process was handled the way we wanted it—each flag set aside for a specific school, all flags to be flown over the Capitol on the same day, all of them to be processed and certified together, and all to shipped to us at the same time, so all of them could be presented on the same day and no school would be left waiting for its flag.”
A group of Rotarians including the Winn Parish Superintendent of Schools and Rotarian, Al Simmons, toured Winn Parish schools, and presented each school with their special flag. The group touring with Mr. Simmons included Rotary Club of Winnfield president, Jodi Taylor, president-elect, Mary Lou Blackley, Rotarian Lee J. Taylor, the Rotarian who came up with the idea for the program, Rotarian Ted Wold, the Rotarian who executed the idea, and Rotarian Bob Holeman, photographer. “Everyone always expects something bad when I come around, so it’s nice to be at the schools for a happy occasion,” stated Simmons.
Beginning at Dodson High School, the group went from there to the school in Calvin High School. While Superintendent Simmons participated in a Zoom conference related to other school board matters, the rest of the group visited with Dean Jeff Johnson to present a flag to Central Louisiana Technical and Community College. When Mr. Simmons rejoined the group, they next visited Winnfield Middle School, then Winnfield High School, and concluded the morning presentations at Winnfield Primary School before the lunchtime Rotary meeting. After the Rotary meeting, the group ended the tour with presentation of a flag to Atlanta High School.