The goal of the Americanism program is to inspire, recognize, and perpetuate responsible citizenship through education and acts of patriotism, in order to raise awareness and increase appreciation of the price paid for our fundamental freedoms.
Respect is both earned and learned. The fundamental value of the American Legion Auxiliary is showing respect for our country and our nation’s flag. The Auxiliary creates opportunities for Americans to do both. We share practical things everyone can do to better live as grateful, patriotic citizens. The Auxiliary provides learning opportunities and instructional resources for important things every good citizen should know such as learning about the Constitution, flying the flag on patriotic holidays, folding pocket flags to send to our troops overseas, and presenting flags to local schools and businesses.
Be knowledgeable on flag history, etiquette and proper disposal methods; and promote the observation of patriotic holidays so your community will look to the ALA for information.
~ Member ~
- Publish flag etiquette tips in your newspaper and on social media.
- Practice respect for our flag at public events, such as sporting events.
- Educate others on how to respect the flag.
- Volunteer for a local patriotic event.
- Sign up to receive notifications on when to display your flag at half-staff at www.legion.org.
~ Unit ~
- Conduct a flag disposal ceremony.
- Host flag awareness events and communicate information: In schools • At your post home • At public functions
- Participate in local patriotic holiday events.
- Organize a patriotic holiday event.
- Encourage local businesses to fly a flag, especially on patriotic holidays.
- Encourage members to fly a flag.
- Order pocket flag kits and distribute to members for assembly.
- Identify and distribute assembled pocket flags to active-duty military overseas.
Encourage members to vote and to support the amendment to protect the United States flag from desecration. The amendment currently reads, “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.”
~ Member ~
- Contact state and federal representatives, asking them to support the flag amendment.
- Encourage others to vote.
- Take your children/grandchildren with you when you vote – many places have kid related voting.
- Recruit others to support the flag amendment by explaining what it is and why it is important.
~ Unit ~
- Encourage members to contact state and federal representatives, asking them to support the flag amendment.
- Encourage members to participate in Get Out the Vote and Kids Voting USA campaigns.
- Guidelines: www.legion.org/vote and www.kidsvotingusa.org
Increase participation in the Americanism Essay Contest. This year’s theme is “How does learning about government and our America help you become a future guardian of the liberties of our country?”
~ Unit ~
- Contact schools and other organizations such as the Young Marines, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and 4-H about the essay contest.
- Offer incentives for essay winners.
- Encourage Junior members to participate in the essay contest.
- Create information packets explaining contest rules, deadline dates, theme and award opportunities.
- Contact the essay winner and their parents. Invite the parents to bring their child to your next Auxiliary meeting to read his/her winning essay.
- Work with school administration to identify guidance counselors, history teachers, etc., whose students would be interested in participating.
- Arrange for a day with the schools (preferably during a student assembly) to present the essay winners with their prizes. Provide cash award and/or savings bond.
- Invite media to attend the event.
Let’s Be Right on Flag Etiquette
You can purchase this 16-page “question & answer” booklet on proper flag etiquette.
Flag Education DVD
- 20-minute video explains the history, significance, meaning, proper display, and treatment of the U.S. Flag
- Includes learning activities and teacher’s guide
- Designed to help schools meet state mandates for required instruction in flag education
- Recommended for grades 5-9
- Includes flexible presentation options for either teachers or Legion members