Seventy years after the first Flag Day, residents of the Tulsa area will commemorate the flag’s recognition by burning old, worn out flags, and saluting veterans at local ceremonies.
Bryan Davis, commander of the American Legion Post 1 in Tulsa, has “closets full of flags” from the Tulsa area that have been brought in over the past year for retirement on Flag Day.
“To me, as a former veteran, I feel honored to be able to properly dispose of the flags,” Davis said. “By showing the flag respect, we’re showing respect to our fallen heroes and to our friends who didn’t come home.”
Although burning the flag is a “solemn occasion,” Davis thinks that it provides time for reflection, he said.
“When we see the flag burning, it brings up memories of lost comrades. It’s historically significant in that manner to each individual,” Davis said.
Davis encourages residents to bring their worn or tattered flags to the ceremony, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday at American Legion Post 1, 1120 E. 8th St.
VFW Post 577, 1109 E. 6th St., accepts soiled and torn flags throughout the year and will dispose of them Saturday at 8 a.m. by laying them in the fire pit one at a time.
As part of the Military History Center in Broken Arrow’s Flag Day Ceremony on Saturday, a 93-year-old veteran will finally receive the bronze star he earned in World War II.
Oscar “Junior” Nipps will be awarded the star along with other decorations by First District Congressman Kevin Hern.
Nipps recounted his service, including how he helped liberate the Philippines from Japanese control, in the Tulsa World’s World War II Veterans Remember series.
Keith Browne, a member of the Military History Center’s board, thinks that Flag Day is an opportunity for all Americans to honor the flag and the veterans that fight for what it stands for, he said.
“Flag Day is something that all Americans should celebrate because of what the flag stands for and what it represents,” Browne said. “It represents what our founding fathers did to establish freedom in this country.”
Veterans will raise the American flag along with Service Branch flags, the Medal of Honor flag, the Army and Air National Guard flags and the 45th Infantry Division flag at the public ceremony.
Maggie Bond, 2019 Miss Broken Arrow, who was the third runner-up in the 2019 Miss Oklahoma Pageant, will sing the National Anthem at the event along with other patriotic songs.
The event will be held at the Military History Center at 112 N. Main St. in downtown Broken Arrow. Admission to the museum is free for the event, which is set to begin at 11 a.m.