By GasserOnline Editor, Forrest Cameron
With the help of a Flintco crane and operator and the Rotary Club of Tulsa, Celia Clinton Elementary School now has a working flagpole outside of their front doors. The flagpole was installed Thursday afternoon, followed by a flag raising ceremony and The Pledge of Allegiance, led by students and faculty of the school.
Celia Clinton Principal said that the school has not had a consistently working flagpole since recent renovations moved the school’s main entrance to the other side of the building.
“The chain was rusted and would work one day, and then not work the next. Plus, we feel the flag should be outside of our front doors. That way, it is the first thing our students, faculty and visitors see when arriving at Celia Clinton,” said Principal Tanya Davis.
“We have tried to make patriotism a major theme among our students, yet not having the American flag flying on a daily basis has thwarted those efforts,” said Davis. “This donation of resources and labor has helped create a wonderful addition to our school’s campus and patriotic spirit,” Davis continued.
It all started when Katie Johnson, Chairman of Rotary Club of Tulsa’s Partners in Education, noticed that their partnering school had no functioning flagpole. Johnson brought this to the attention of Rotarian Paula Wood, Special Assistant for School and Community Relations for Tulsa Public Schools, and from there, they took it upon themselves to see that The Stars and Stripes could fly outside of the school. Soon after, community support began coming in from all directions.
The flagpole was donated by Tulsa Public Schools and was previously stationed at Addams Elementary, which closed in 2011 as a result of Project School House. However, when the pole was initially donated, Celia did not have the means of installing the flagpole nor did they have an American flag that would properly fit the new flagpole.
A new American flag came by way of a donation from Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal insurance company that partners with Celia Clinton. “A member of the Modern Woodmen of America, who happens to be a vetren, saw that our current flag was aged and tattered. He felt it was his responsibility to help bring a new flag and teach the children about the respect it deserves,” said Davis.
Likewise, when Flintco Vice-President of Business Development, Dana Birkes, also a member of the Tulsa Rotary Club, caught wind of the circumstance, she was eager to see how Flintco could assist in the efforts. Flintco donated the workers, equipment, and time to move the flagpole from its former location and install the flagpole at its new home at Celia Clinton Elementary.
“Flintco superintendent, Al Apitz enthusiastically led the charge to get the new flagpole transported and installed at Celia Clinton. Fortunately, we were able to help bring what should be a staple at every schoolhouse in America, a flying American flag,” said Birkes.