El Cajon Flag Program visits Magnolia Elementary

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Representing the El Cajon Main Street Flag Program, Humbert Cabrera, president of Cabrera and Associates, celebrated patriotic Day Nov. 9 at El Cajon’s Magnolia Elementary School with a presentation. Cabrera educated 5th graders and a 4/5th grade combo class about the history of the American flag.

Representing the El Cajon Main Street Flag Program, Humbert Cabrera, president of Cabrera and Associates, celebrated patriotic Day Nov. 9 at El Cajon’s Magnolia Elementary School with a presentation. Cabrera educated 5th graders and a 4/5th grade combo class about the history of the American flag.

The El Cajon Main Street Flag Program is a collective program run by the American Legion Post 303, Boy Scout Troop 362, City of El Cajon, Rotary Club of El Cajon, Elks Lodge 1812, El Cajon Valley Lions Club, and the El Cajon Optimists.

The presentations about flags started in schools in 2016.  Cabrera credited Mark Robak and Max Wright for leading the program then. While this particular outreach program from The El Cajon Main Street Flag Program is relatively new, according to Cabrera, the ELMSFP is celebrating their 15th anniversary.  

Residents and visitors might have already enjoyed seeing the 175 flags that are displayed on Main Street on Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.

Cabrera noted that half of all the schools in the Cajon Valley Union School District now utilize these presentations in their classrooms.

Cabrera displayed the 13-star Betsy Ross flag and started explaining the history of that flag and its’ evolution to our current 50-star flag. Volunteer Paul Walters had helped hand out miniature American flags to the students as they entered the multi-purpose room.  Yahaira Ibanez, with the East County Chamber Leadership Program, also assisted with the video presentation and flag distribution.

The video showed how to fold a flag, went over the flag’s history, noted it should be illuminated if flown at night, how to recycle a flag, and more.  The man credited with designing the current 50-star American flag is Robert G. Heft.  He created the flag in 1958 as a high school class project and had his grade changed from a B- to an A after his design was officially chosen. Cabrera noted that if Puerto Rico became a state the flag would be revised to 51 stars.

After the video a question and answer session was held.  Cabrera handed out booklets containing the constitution of the United States to students answering questions correctly.

Principal Sarah Robinson, who introduced Cabrera to the 97 student attendees earlier, over-sees the 550-student population elementary school.  She was dressed in red, white, and blue for the occasion.

How are the flags on Main Street secured? Mark Robak explained, “Holes are drilled in the sidewalks with a cap over them.” On the days when the flags are placed up and down El Cajon’s Main Street it is a collective effort among the boy scouts to put the flags out. The flags are placed in the drilled holes on Main Street from Chambers Street to Ballantyne Street.