American Flag Protocol
Lesson Plans About The American Flag
At its Annual Meeting in November 2012, the Military Officers Association of America presented to its membership for approval a list of fourteen different resolutions that would guide its efforts for the foreseeable future. One of those resolutions focused on future actions MOAA would take to stimulate respect and loyalty for the United States Constitution and American flag among the general public. This same resolution encouraged MOAA Chapters across the country to sponsor efforts to educate America’s schoolchildren on the origin and meaning of the flag, flag etiquette, and patriotism.
Several leaders of the Military Officers Association of Sarasota (MOAS) were intrigued by this particular part of the resolution because they assumed these subjects were already being taught in Florida schools, much like they were when these individuals and their children were in elementary school. A quick bit of on-line research confirmed that the Florida State Legislature mandates flag instruction, with emphasis on flag etiquette, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Constitution, patriotism, the free enterprise system and good citizenship. However, in follow-on conversations with Sarasota County school administrators, it was discovered that many elementary schools in Sarasota County are not able to comply with this requirement due to a lack of resources.
The 2013 announcement of The Patterson Foundation Legacy of Valor Campaign, with its overarching goals of honoring veterans, inspiring patriotism and embracing freedom, offered a real opportunity to correct this deficiency. With the approval of the MOAS Board of Directors, a proposal was prepared and submitted to The Patterson Foundation suggesting that MOAS take the lead in orchestrating the development and execution of a multi-faceted educational program that focused on the origin and history of the American Flag and the proper etiquette and respect that should be afforded it. This proposal was approved in concept and earmarked for start-up funding pending further development.
Working with a small group of truly inspirational teachers from the School Board of Sarasota County, and representatives from the Sarasota County Veterans Commission, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida and local JROTC Programs from local high schools, MOAS set out to create a wide-ranging educational program impacting a large and widely diverse target audience that would have both near and long term consequences.
As it is currently designed, the centerpiece of the American Flag Protocol Initiative is its academic curriculum, which consists of nine (9) 50-minute lessons, appropriate to be presented to 4th and 5th grade students at the 27 elementary schools throughout Sarasota County by their assigned teachers at some point during the academic year.