What is the Flag Essay Contest?
The essay of no more than 300 words in length on "What the Flag Means To Me."
The Flag Essay Contest is open to all area 5th grade students who are U.S. citizens.
How Do I Compete?
The American Legion Fifth Grade Flag Essay Contest begins at the local level and continues through to District and State finals. Approximately 180-200 students participate yearly in the Marion Post #298 contest. The Flag Code Pamphlet is provided to all fifth grade students, whether participating in the writing contest or not, when the packet announcing the contest is provided to the school. One winner is selected from each school: Linn Mar, Marion Independent, Marion Home School Offices and St. Joseph's School. One overall winner is forwarded to District competition. The 1st place winner in each of Iowa's 9 Districts advances to the State final. The top three finalists at State level will be asked to participate in the Department Convention Parade and read their essay at the 2016 Department Convention.
Each student participating is returned their essay and given a 4"x6" mounted desk top flag and a copy of the United States Flag Code. Each classroom represented is offered a 2'x3' indoor flag. Students writing winning essays are asked to read their essays to the class (or school assembly) in a brief awards ceremony. The six winning entries receive a certificate from Post #298 and a 3'x5' nylon outdoor flag. Winning essays are also printed in the Marion Times and Post 298 Newspapers. One overall winner is selected and his or her essay is sent on to District competition.
Entry forms are distributed to the Fifth grade teachers of schools listed above in mid September. Interested teachers may also contact Post #298 for more information. Coordinator of the Flag Essay contest is Mr. Gerry Wegmann.
Entry forms are available at Post 298 in the late fall or through your school office.
District Prizes: The 1st place award is $75 and a 3' X 5' Flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol on Veterans Day. 2nd place is awarded $50 and a 3' X 5' Flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol on Veterans Day, 3rd through 6th place recieve a $25 award'
What the Flag Means to Me.
The fifth grade students of Linn Mar and Marion School Districts, which includes Marion Home School, St. Pius Catholic School and St. Joseph's Catholic School, recently had the opportunity to express their original and creative thoughts in writing as a personal response to that question. Compliments of Marion American Legion Post #298, a DVD titled "For Which It Stands" and a teaching aid "Let's Be Right on Flag Etiquette" are provided each school and a Flag Code pamphlet made available to each student. The guidelines for the writers were no more than 300 words, original composition, type-written and attached to an entry form. All participants and their teachers receive a 4" X 6" desktop flag.
We were pleased with the response of the students; we received 208 entries for the 2015 contest, which involved nine schools. Greatly appreciated are the fifth grade teachers who educate the youth about our nation's history and flag. Based on the quality of essays, the fifth grade classroom leaders deserve accolades for their thorough job in the education process.
A thank you is extended to our dedicated judges: Kathy Hughes representing the Auxiliary, Roger Norfolk, Mary Clappand and Gerry Wegmann for the Legion, . Their responsibility was to identify the best writer from each participating school, and determine the most deserving of the individual school winners to advance to District level competition. The criteria utilized by the judges were originality, logic, facts/comprehension, and grammar/spelling.
The list of winners below will each receive a certificate, and 3 X 5 nylon flag. All school winner award presentations will take place at a special ceremony within each school, honoring the individual, and attended by their fellow classmates, teachers, administrators and often-times family members.
This year's winners and their schools are:
The one advancing to District is Emily Brennom from Wilkins School.
These are the winners from each school:
Student: Emily Brennom
Teacher: Mrs. Lisa Drinkall
What the Flag Means to Me
The flag is not just important to me, but to many people. The American flag became the U.S flag on June 14, 1777 in Philadelphia when it was approved by the Continental Congress. The first flag had thirteen stars and thirteen stripes to represent the the original thirteen colonies. Sometimes people call the United States flag “Old Glory” because of a shipmaster in Salem Massachusetts named William Driver. On August 10, 1831 some of his friends were pestering (presenting) him with the flag of 24 stars and as the flag opened into the great ocean breeze for the first time ever he shouted, “Old Glory!'”
Every time that I see the flag I think of my great grandpa who served in World War I. When my great grandpa died they draped the flag onto his casket to show honor. My grandma displays that flag in a special case in her house to honor him. Although I never got to meet my great grandpa I know that the flag meant a lot to him.
Whenever I go to swim meet someone always sings, “The Star Spangled Banner.” This reminds all of the swimmers that even though we are competing against one another we all are part of this nation together.
The flag stands for equal opportunity. It is a symbol of our independence. It symbolizes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It represents a nation of free people united together. I know that everyone that serves in our country is a hero and that people have risked their lives for us. That makes me appreciate what I have and how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful place with a family that loves me. It means a lot to me that people risked their lives for my freedom.
The other winners and their respective schools:
The American Flag stands today to show that the wonderful place we call America, is forever united and will stand strong till we are all no more. Foreigners come to visit our nation and notice that, we Americans are full of purity, innocence, honor and peace, which the 6 white stripes on our flag imply. Also, we are all full of power, strength, bravery and endurance because we don’t allow anyone or anything to tear our nation apart. We will forever stand as one in a blue field of justice, fairness and right.
I believe that our freedom is what makes us very unique. I find it extraordinary that in America; everyone is treated fairly and equally. Our flag is a representation of, not just our individual religious freedom, but of our standing together and ruling as one. The flag is one of the best possessions that this country has ever had. I think that the flag is more than just a piece of fabric floating around on a pole; I think that the flag is what keeps our nation bonded together as a whole. It is a beautiful thing and I think that it will never be forgotten.
There are many races living here in America. This shows that people from all over the world have come to us for better opportunities, freedom, jobs, and most importantly safety. I know understand that, now because of our flag and country, we are dependable and worthy of the title of the “United States of America”.
The people who are currently or have once served this country are thanked everyday for their braveness and hard work to keep this country a safe place to be. They have put their life on the line so that they can keep our nation in top shape. Most importantly, they could be anybody you know. People in the military vary races and are family members, friends and even strangers. But to all of us, they will always be thanked for their gratitude toward us. They have tried their hardest to protect our country. Some have lost their lives to serving us. They died, at least knowing, that they have done the right thing and that nobody will ever forget them.
We have multiple rights that have made us who we are today. We have the freedom of speech. This is the right to speak your mind and tell the world what you believe is right. You will not be punished for what you believe. You have your own thoughts and nobody can change that. You also have the freedom of religion. The freedom of religion allows you to choose which religion you would like to practice. There are many religions out in this world to choose from and you will also not be punished for your choice of what you practice. We have the freedom of movement which allows you to move to where ever you feel is the safest and best place for your family to live in. You will never be arrested for moving around to different places where you feel that you will be the safest you can believe that you could be.