With Bryant-Denny Stadium as the backdrop, the American flag – affectionately known as Old Glory – billowed in the wind at full staff for the first time atop Capstone Village’s new 50-foot flagpole Wednesday.
The luxury retirement community celebrated Flag Day a day ahead of its official June 14 recognition with a flag raising ceremony. About 100 people attended the event, including 15 veterans, 12 of whom reside at Capstone Village.
“Capstone is having some updates to the grounds and one of the updates is a 50-foot flagpole at our front entrance,” said Troy Cannaday, executive director of Capstone Village. “I thought it would be great to recognize Flag Day and pull in our veterans and employees for a ceremony.”
Cannaday said Capstone Village is the highest geographical point at UA, so the new 10-by-15 foot flag atop the 50-foot pole can be seen across campus.
The 30-minute ceremony kicked off with the history of the flag and Flag Day told by Col. Duane Lamb, UA’s associate vice president of facilities and grounds, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1977 to 2007.
“For more than 240 years the American flag, our flag, has long been a symbol of great pride and inspiration to millions of citizens, especially to the men and women who fought in foreign wars throughout history in the defense of our freedoms,” he said. “Our U.S. flag was actually adopted on June 14, 1777, and on that day each year we as a nation officially celebrate national Flag Day as a way to honor Old Glory.
“…As a reminder of our flag’s history, the second congregational congress determined that our flag should have 13 stripes alternating between seven stripes that are in the color of red and six in white. And that the union, being originally adorned in a circle of 13 white stars, would be in a field of blue that would be considered a new constellation.
“The red, white and blue colors used in the flag hold significance. White signifies purity and innocence. The color red stands for hardiness and valor and finally the color blue with the square representing our union, signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.”
After Lamb’s keynote address, several of Capstone Village’s veterans unfolded the flag and held it aloft with one hand while saluting with the other, as two members of the UA Air Force ROTC raised it up the pole. During the flag’s raising Dr. Elijah Pugh played “God Bless America” on a bugle and Capstone Village resident Sharol Jacobson sang.
The program concluded with five-year Capstone Village resident and Korean War veteran Dave Struthwolf leading attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.
“It’s a symbol of the United States and I’m so glad people will be able to see it from the stadium, soccer field, tennis court, everywhere,” he said. “It makes me real proud to have it here and it will be a highlight to everyone who comes to Capstone Village and The University of Alabama.”
Cannaday said the flag will be taken down while construction around it continues. It’s scheduled to be raised permanently with lights shining on it in mid-August.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.