In an effort to help develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the United States Flag on the part of elementary-level students, as well as help them gain knowledge of flag etiquette and respect for the flag, the American Legion of Iowa sponsors an essay contest for students enrolled in the fifth grade.
The essay must be the original effort of each contestant and no longer than 300 words. The subject must pertain to the student’s personal interpretation of what the United States flag represents, based on facts from the United States Flag Code.
Last month, members of the American Legion Post #207 visited La Porte City Elementary School to announce and congratulate the top three placewinners of the local contest.
Next month, the winning essays forwarded to each of the nine districts in Iowa will be judged by their respective District Children and Youth Chairmen, with the top essays advancing to the state-level competition. Ultimately, the top three essay writers in the state will be invited to read their compositions at the Department of Iowa American Legion Convention. Cash prizes of $300 for first place, $200 for second $100 for third will also be awarded.
In La Porte City, Matthew Medina, Hunter Schaefer and Levi Smalley were judged to have the top three essays. Each boy was presented a certificate for their effort, courtesy of American Legion Post #207.
First Place Essay – by Matthew Medina
The flag is made up of the base colors of red, white and blue. The colors on the flag all have a purpose and I am going to explain it to you. White means purity, red means valour, and blue the color of the chief signifies justice.
Now for the design, there are 50 stars and 13 stripes. The reason for the 50 stars is for the 50 states. The reason for the 13 stripes is for the 13 original colonies. Since I’m done with the design analysis. Now it’s time for the history of the flag.
The flag was made on June 14th, 1777. Also the flag was made by Betsy Ross. The flag is also made out of cotton and polyester.
So now I will talk about the reason the flag can’t touch the ground. The reason the flag can’t touch the ground is because it is a sign of respect and to honor those who fought for it. And now for the purpose of the flag (my opinion) is because it signifies liberty, justice and freedom. Did you know that the flag holds a special place in my heart because my parents fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan war. They protected what the flag stands for and for what it represents.They are still here today to tell about it. So that concludes my essay.
Second Place Essay – by Hunter Schaefer
Betsy Ross made the American Flag on June 14, 1777. The 50 stars stand for the 50 states and the 13 stripes stand for the 13 colonies. The colors represent the patriotic ideals and the spiritual qualities of the citizens of our country the red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of american mothers and daughters. The white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all. The blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.
The flag is as old as our nation. The flag stands guard over our nation’s schools, the seedbed of good citizenship and true patriotism. On June 14 is set aside to honor the flag. The flag has its own law-Public Law 829, the flag code-which definitely states the correct use and display for all occasions.
The flag was created in freedom it made a first appearance in a battle for human liberty. The flag is your title deed of freedom, which is your’s to enjoy and hold in trust for posterity. God granted that the flag may spend eternity in the “land of the free and home of the brave” and that the flag shall ever be known as “Old Glory”, the flag of the United States of America.
Third Place Essay – by Levi Smalley
It all started when Betsy Ross created the first American flag. The American flag stands for peace and freedom. The stripes on the flag represent the 13 british colonies. The stars represent the 50 states. America loves the flag because it stands for peace, liberty, and all the soldiers that have fought and gave their lives for this country. The American flag is something Americans will always protect.
The thirteen colonies where groups of people who settled in different places. The thirteen colonies where New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina , and Georgia.
The white on the flag shows purity and innocence. The red stands for hardiness and valour. Blue is the color of the chief. The United States Flag is older than the Union Jack of Britain and the Tricolor of France. The flag was first made the symbol of the United States by Congress June 14, 1777, this day is now called Flag Day in America.
The very first president George Washington once said “We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing we have been separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty.”