HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our great American flag today, June 14th! Congress adopted the stars and stripes as the official U.S. flag in 1777. Observance of Flag Day is a requirement in the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks (BPOE). The Barnesville Lodge has often held a program for the public, displaying the many forms of our flag through its 140 years. This year this special service was held Monday night for the public at the Elks.

NATURE ALSO has its flags, a flower, the iris. Our older generations often called the irises flags. Blooming in early spring were flowers I recall people talking about as their "flags and pineys" (iris and peonies).

THE ORIGINAl flags date back centuries. According to Hal Borland's TWELVE MOONS OF THE YEAR, "The iris is named for a rainbow that once spanned a springtime in Greece. The yellow iris, sometimes called the corn flag, and the purple iris, sometimes called the blue flag, and all the other irises that have been dear to our hearts ... the Saracens long ago grew it in their cemeteries as a symbol of grief. It supplied the pattern for France's fleur-de-lis and for centuries was part of the royal emblem of England. But for most of us irises are garden flowers, simple and old fashioned.

jeanealities is compiled by Jean Palmer Davies, lifetime Barnesville Enterprise associate. She may be reached at jeandavies@comcast.net.