Flag Raising at Star of the Sea is more than just a routine raising of the American and Hawai‘i state flags. It is a learning experience … and a coming together.
“They learn proper flag etiquette,” said Margaret Rufo, a 6th grade homeroom teacher. “They learn when to fly the flag, how to fly the flag, how to fold it, store it, and all of the etiquette and other accepted practices regarding the national standard. But they also learn to respect the flag, and the nation for which it stands.
“We also think it helps bring our students and teachers together,” she added, “in more ways than one.”
Mrs. Rufo, who also works with the student council, also has the task of selecting the flag raisers and being sure they know the rules, the “how to” and the “why.”
“It helps the younger students to learn proper etiquette regarding the flags, both the American flag and the Hawai‘i State flag,” she added.
At the flag raising ceremony, held at the cafeteria-end of the huge playing field, all of the students in grades 1-8, and all of the faculty assemble near the flag pole. They watch as the flag is raised, put their hands over their hearts and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Then they sing together – sometimes the national anthem, and sometimes a patriotic hymn. Favorites include “God Bless America.”
The speakers are Student Council officers, and sometimes includes special announcement by the Principal. Everyone sings, ending the ceremony with the school song.