2018-01-31 / School News

Eighth graders present American flag projects

by Kate Evans

Daniel Emmons, Warm Springs Middle School eighth grader in teacher Kathleen Boyce’s fifth/sixth grade English Language Arts class, presents his PowerPoint on Betsy Ross and the first American flag. Daniel Emmons, Warm Springs Middle School eighth grader in teacher Kathleen Boyce’s fifth/sixth grade English Language Arts class, presents his PowerPoint on Betsy Ross and the first American flag. Warm Springs Middle School students in eighth grade Language Arts teacher Kathleen Boyce’s fifth-sixth period class learned a lot about the history of the American flag and patriotism during their American flag PowerPoint projects.

Former middle school Spanish teacher Hazel Morton, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 60 chairperson for their Americanism project, approached Boyce with the idea of kids learning more about the American flag and its meaning.

Boyce suggested some possible flag history ideas to her class that included the first American flag, the 9/11 flag and the American flag on the moon. She asked students to research their chosen topic and create a PowerPoint presentation about it. Their presentations had to contain five content slides, each with a photo, and also a bibliography slide to show their research sources.

If students hadn’t learned how to make PowerPoint presentations yet, Boyce showed them how. Boyce’s students presented their projects for Morton and The Morgan Messenger on January 11.

Betsy Ross flag

A number of teens did their projects on Betsy Ross and the first American flag, which had alternating red and white stripes and 13 five-pointed white stars in a circle on blue. Ross was a Quaker and married her first husband John Ross, an Anglican, which resulted in her expulsion from the Quaker congregation. The couple met as furnishings apprentices. Ross was married three times and lived to the age of 84.

While there’s some debate among historians about whether Ross actually made or helped design the flag, the story is that she recommended the change from a six-pointed star to a fivepointed star with a quick paper one to demonstrate.

9/11 flag

Two students did their PowerPoint presentations on the iconic 9/11 flag that three firefighters raised above the ruins of the World Trade Center. The 9/11 flag disappeared for 15 years.

The flag was returned by former Marine Brian Browne, a Washington state flag collector, who had unknowingly had it in a storage trunk and freezer for eight years after it was given to him by a friend who passed it along from others. The flag’s owner was said to be an unidentified woman originally from New York City whose deceased husband had possibly been a New York City employee.

Apollo 11 flag, other topics

Several students created their projects on the first American flag that was displayed on the moon during the Apollo 11 moon mission by crew members Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Other flag topics students chose were the flag of Iwo Jima, the history of the Star- Spangled Banner, the space race, North Pole explorer Robert Peary’s flag and the first American flag in the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge during the American Revolutionary War.

Interesting facts

Daniel Emmons said he was surprised to learn that Quakers weren’t allowed to marry someone from another religion. Kiersten Jacobs was amazed that it took over 10,000 stitches to make the first American flag.

Josh McCandless said it was interesting to learn that there were more missions to the moon after Apollo 11. There were 17 Apollo missions and a total of six American flags were placed upon the moon.

Flag etiquette

Jacob Rough said he didn’t know much about the flag and how to fly it before his project. He noted that the flag has to fly totally free and there are specific ways to display it.

Morton was glad that kids also learned about flag etiquette and how to fly the flag during their projects. She told students that the American flag can be flown 24 hours a day if a light is on it and that some veterans have flags displayed at their homes with lights.

Boyce said she was very proud of the job her class did on the history of the American flag project. Boyce plans to do the flag project again next year as part of her curriculum since it’s a great topic.

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