ROCKLAND — The Elks Lodge held their annual Flag Day Ceremony June 13 at 1 p.m.

The ceremony started with retiring the outdoor flags. Boy Scouts Troops assisted in this retirement by properly disposing the previous flags and replacing them with new flags.

The ceremony proceeded indoors, with Elk Lodge members providing a program that included information about the flag.

In a statement on their website, the Elks Lodge said, “The idea of a Flag Day Service was first suggested by the then Grand Exalted Ruler at the 1907 Grand Lodge Session in Philadelphia. Of the dates submitted for consideration at that time, June 14 was adopted by the session and was called ‘Elks Flag Day.’ The following year, in Dallas, the Grand Lodge approved a ritual for the Flag Day ceremony.”

In 1911, the observance of Flag Day was made mandatory by the Grand Lodge in Atlantic City, N.J. It wasn’t until 1949 that the President of the United States signed June 14 as Flag Day into law.

“Thus, our Order was not only the first fraternal organization to celebrate Flag Day but had made the ceremony mandatory years before the date on which the observance became a nationwide practice by legal decree,” said the Elks Lodge in a statement on their website.

For more information about the Elks Lodge #1008, visit rocklandelks.com or elks.org/lodges/home.cfm?LodgeNumber=1008.