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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes May 2011 

The Symbol Of A Nation

         A Flag is a piece of cloth, but it is much more than that. It is defined as “a piece of cloth or bunting, often attached to a staff, with definite colors, patterns, or symbolic devices, used as a national or state symbol.”

         On June 14, 1777, less than a year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress adopted a design for a flag for the new nation known as the United States of America. The Continental Congress determined that “The flag of the United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

         As the nation grew and the number of states increased, the design changed by adding a star to represent each new state. So, the flag we know and appreciate has thirteen stripes representing the original thirteen states and fifty stars representing the fifty states in the Union.

         In 1895, to recognize the anniversary of the adoption of the flag, the Congress of the United States, without making it a legal holiday, declared June 14 to be Flag Day.

         June 14, in all probability, will be a normal day. There will be little to distinguish it from other days, and business will go on as usual. Yet, at a number of locations, flags will be silhouetted against the blue sky. As it has for 234 years, the Stars and Stripes, a thing of rare beauty, will wave in the gentle breeze of spring as the symbol of the United States of America.

         The beauty of that flag waving in the breeze is more than artistic design and skillful color coordination. Its real beauty is found in that for which it stands. It is the symbol of a nation known around the world as the land of the free and the home of the brave whose citizens love liberty, cherish freedom, and are willing to pay the price for these precious possessions.

(This moving tribute to the flag was written by Bro. Howard Coop
and appeared in The Scottish Rite Journal, May/June 2011.)


FLAG DAY JUNE 14, 2011

Canadian Flag

With its centered, red maple leaf flanked on either side by red, the Canadian flag is perhaps one of the most recognized national flags in the world.

While Canada officially became a nation in 1867, they spent many years without a national flag. Instead they used the British Red Ensign with the Canadian shield on the fly.

It wasn’t until the 1960’s when the public made it known that they wanted their own distinctive flag, that the first Canadian flag was designed. The first flag featured three Canadian maple leafs with blue on either side, to represent the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

However, this initial flag wasn’t accepted by the Canadian people, so another effort was made. In 1965 a new Canadian flag was created, incorporating both the maple leaf and the country’s colors. The maple leaf is on a background of white, which represents the snowy north of Canada. The red on either side of the maple leaf represents the sacrifice made during World War I by Canadians.

(The United States pays tribute to its flag on June 14 each year. Our Canadian friends and Brothers also honor their flag and this article explains the history of the Canadian flag.)


Scottish Rite On The Red Carpet

            Last year’s annual meeting of the Supreme Council in Philadelphia featured the premiere of A Scottish Rite Tribute to the Flag, a video presentation produced by the Northern Masonic and Southern Masonic Jurisdictions. The Supreme Council has been informed that the program won a prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. It is considered by many to be the top recognition for non-broadcast programming. The award came in the “Professional Non-Telecast Non-Fiction Division.”

            The CINE Golden Eagle Film and Video Competitions are held twice a year. Volunteer media and content specialists are asked to judge entries in various genres. Hundreds of jurors judge nearly 1,000 entries in 32 categories.

            Many prominent members of the film and television industry have received the CINE Golden Eagle Award including such notables as Ken Burns, Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard. Scores of distinguished filmmakers, producers and journalists have won, dating from Mel Brooks in 1963 to Martin Scorsese in 2006. For members of the film and television industry, the CINE Golden Eagle Award is an acknowledgment of excellence and validation by their peers.

            If you would like to obtain a copy of A Scottish Rite Tribute to the Flag contact your local valley.

(MSA recently reported on the availability of a new video titled – A Scottish Rite Tribute to the Flag – produced jointly by the Northern and Southern Jurisdictions, Scottish Rite. Not only are we proud to reprint this article from the Northern Light, #2, May 2011 but also to highly recommend the video as a program on Flag Day, June 14, 2011.)

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