DOUGLAS — The Douglas Elks on 10th Street held its traditional Flag Day ceremony on Monday.

The ceremony, which is an annual tradition of all Elks Lodges around the state, was attended by a small group of lodge members.

Buddy Williams, who is serving his third term as exalted ruler of the Douglas Elks, presided over the ceremony. He said the purpose of this service was to honor and pay respect to the American flag as well as to our great country.

“We are here to celebrate the anniversary of its birth and the quality of achievements obtained in each of its fold,” he said. “It’s quite appropriate that this ceremony is held by the Order of the Elks, an organization that is distinctly American, intensely patriotic and without counterpart.”

With the assistance of lodge members Ken Nelson, Bill and Debra Wendt and Richard Ross, Williams provided a brief history of the flag that over the years, that began with the Liberty Tree flag and was followed by the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag before eventually evolving to the flag we have today which has 50 stars representing all 50 states and the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a decree establishing June 14 as Flag Day.

At the end of the ceremony various lodge members gave up old, tattered U.S. flags they had that will be properly disposed of at a flag burning ceremony at a later date.

Flag Day is a day when Americans honor and commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

“The flag reminds us of the obligation we have to protect the American way of life,” Williams said. “The flag reminds us of the obligation we have to protect the American way of life.”