By Janet Cruz

What do the folds in the American flag mean? How should the flag be handled with care?

These are just some of the questions the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) group answered a group of third-grade students learning civics at Havasupai Elementary School on Friday.

Students listened and watched as VFW District President Steve Knock explained the importance of the flag and demonstrated how to handle and fold it with care.

The flag was finally neatly folded into a triangle shape after 13 folds. The students also practiced folding it themselves. Knock then read aloud what they each stood for and also instructed them on how to give a proper salute.

“When you return a salute, it’s a form of respect,” Knock explained.

Steve Knock teaches third graders how to greet at Havasupai Elementary. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Third-grade teacher Tiffany Berry always teaches a lesson at the start of class each morning, after the Pledge of Allegiance. Students recite the Pledge daily and Berry takes the time to explain what the flag represents. The VFW often visits to teach the class to follow their social studies subjects.

“I have had a wonderful working relationship with the VFW for many years. They come to class four or five times a year for various presentations that accompany our classes,” Berry said. “Today they are here to talk of the flag.”

According to Knock, a flag removal ceremony for worn flags is often held by the VFW. This is often called the dismantling and the flag is placed in a cylinder, ignited and reduced to ashes. The reason for this is to ensure that it does not continue to tear or become damaged and that it is disposed of with respect.

“The lesson on flag folding is the one we already did at the end of the year, but it goes hand in hand with our lessons on engagement and I thought it would be a great way to reconnect with the VFW and celebrate Civic/Constitutional Education Day,” Berry said.

Grove “Buzz” Bancroft and Jami Mack teach third graders how to fold a flag at Havasupai Elementary School. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

“I learned that you don’t put the flag in the sky when it’s raining,” third-grade student Quinn Kobalchick said.

The VFW and Berry always strive to give students a general understanding of the meaning of the flag and the contributions of our service members and veterans who protect us and our freedoms daily.

“Patriotism and civics are very important to me personally, my father and son are both veterans and I was raised with an appreciation for the freedoms our country fought to earn and preserve. “, Berry added.

Havasupai VFW City of Lake Havasu

On Friday, Steve Knock teaches students at Havasupai Elementary how to fold a flag. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasuapai

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

VFW Lake Havasu Havasupai

Steve Knock teaches third graders how to greet at Havasupai Elementary. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

On Friday, third-grade students at Havasupai Elementary School learn how to fold a flag. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene