In commemoration of Flag Day, the many flags that have flown over Fort Ontario and the United States will be displayed and explained by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Oswego Lodge 271, Friday, June 13 at Fort Ontario.
Nearly 500 school children from around central New York State will participate in the program at the old fort. The public is welcome to attend. Admission for all will be $1.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a recreation of the British turnover of the fort to the United States on July 14, 1796, and features living history demonstrations by members of the Continental Arm Collectors Revolutionary War interpretive unit.
World War II re-enactors will also conduct a living history interpretation. Fort Curator Jennifer Emmons will sing the national anthems of the United States and Great Britain. Children’s living history specialist Shari Crawford will instruct and lead demonstrations of historic children’s games and toys, including “Bat and Trap,” “Cat and Mouse, “ “Cup and Ball,” stilts, hoops, and more.
“Fort Ontario State Historic Site proudly flies the flag of the US Army Corps of Engineers in honor of the 444th Engineer Company, USAR, which maintains a Reserve Center on the old Fort Ontario Military Reservation,” said Paul Lear, Superintendent of Fort Ontario Sate Historic Site. “The 444th Engineer Company preserves a history of military occupation of the post dating back to 1755.”
On Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15, the fort will host a Revolutionary War encampment. The fort will be open until 9 p.m. Saturday for evening retreat ceremony and artillery firing. Re-enactments will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. The fort opens both days at 10 a.m. Regular admission will be charged.
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 establishing June 14 as Flag Day; later, in 1949, an Act of Congress established National Flag Day. The largest Flag Day parade in the United States is held annually in Troy, NY.
Flag Day observances can be traced back to at least 1861 when the City of Hartford, Connecticut, conducted a patriotic program praying for success of the Union Army and the preservation of the Union during the American Civil War.
Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego, New York. For more information on the fort, Flag Day, and Revolutionary War events contact Superintendent Paul Lear at 343-4711 or [Paul.Lear@parks.ny.gov]. For more information on Fort Ontario visit www.fortontario.com or www.nysparks.com .