June 14, 2012
The flags in Memorial Circle at Texas Tech University. National Flag Day is today, June 14.
For 45 years, the flags in Memorial Circle have had a constant presence on the Texas Tech University campus, reminding students, faculty, staff and visitors of our pride and place in this great nation. They fly unremittingly above the thousands walking below, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Today (June 14), Texas Tech joins the rest of the nation in observing Flag Day and honoring the significance of this nation’s banner.
The Texas Tech Police Department (TTPD) is responsible for the flags in Memorial Circle, making sure the flags are displayed, maintained and disposed of properly and according to official flag etiquette. When the flags are lowered, the TTPD stores them in a military fold, said Sergeant Michael Macias.
“We have a lot of military personnel on campus who are quick to let us know if we don’t follow proper flag etiquette,” Macias said. “We take it very seriously.”
The history of Flag Day dates back to June 14, 1777, when Congress established an official design of the United States flag. At that time, it had only 13 stripes and 13 stars.
President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Flag Day 96 years ago, saying it is a day to “stand with united hearts for an America which no man can corrupt, no influence draw away from its ideals, no force divide against itself.”
Every year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation calling for the observance of Flag Day. This year, President Barack Obama wrote, “For over 200 years, our flag has proudly represented our Nation and our ideals at home and abroad. It has billowed above monuments and memorials, flown beside the halls of government, stood watch over our oldest institutions, and graced our homes and storefronts.”
The flag also flies proudly in the heart of the Texas Tech campus. In 1967, Texas Technological College President Grover E. Murray had the college's flagpoles moved from their original location in front of the Industrial and Textile Engineering building, at the end of the Engineering Key, to Memorial Circle.
Officers Jim Snow and Randa Hanna lower the Texas Tech University flag at Memorial Circle.
Macias said since the flags are illuminated, they remain raised 24 hours a day.
“The only time they are lowered is in case of bad weather, such as winds faster than 30 miles per hour or severe storms,” Macias said. “Or if they are lowered to half-mast for a memorial.”
The flags of the United States, the state of Texas and Texas Tech University always are flown at half-mast on the following occasions:
Macias said the flag of the United States is always the first raised and last to be lowered, and it has to be the highest at all times.
The flags at Memorial Circle last about a year, Macias said. When a flag is frayed or damaged, the TTPD gives it to the Texas Tech ROTC to be destroyed by burning.
Flag Day is a time set aside by Congress to honor America and celebrate our heritage in public gatherings and activities that end with the festivities on Independence Day.
During these few weeks, take a moment to remember the history wrapped in our flag that binds this nation.