Flags commemorate

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Martin Luther King Jr.


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Jan. 18, 2000 11 PM

For the first time since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday was declared a national holiday in 1986, flags lined the streets of Brundidge Monday in his honor.

Norvelle Ward, administrative assistant for the city of Brundidge, said the administrative staff of the city decided flags should be flown in Brundidge in observance of this national holiday.

"Flags are flown on other national holidays and, considering the impact Dr. King had, it is only fitting that this amount of respect should be shown to him," Ward said. "We had a large group of volunteers who came out before daybreak to help put out the flags. We were all honored to be a part of observing Dr. King’s Day with flags flying in our community."

The holiday is a powerful tribute to King’s philosophy and stature. He is one of the few social leaders of any country to be honored with a holiday. Generally, the honor is reserved for military or religious figures.

Not specifically patriotic or religious, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day does not fit any traditional category. However, black leaders believe it is a very spiritual day

"The God I serve knows no color," said King Isaac. "In God’s eyes we are all created equal and that was Dr. King’s dream – that we should all be treated equal. It is time for us to put our hearts in the right place. This is a day set aside for us to remember Dr. King and that he did have a dream that one day all of us would have equal opportunities. We appreciate the city of Brundidge recognizing this day that is so important to us."

All of those who gathered during the early morning hours agreed that seeing the flags raised on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was a realization of a dream.

"Our town has been behind times," said Willie Felton. "We have been waiting for this day for a long time. I have great respect for Dr. King and he died trying to make a dream come true for minorities here in America. We should never forget what he did and we should not quit striving for a better life for everyone."

Isabell Boyd said the flags that fly on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day are a symbol of a dream of equality.

"And we must keep that dream alive today and everyday," Boyd said, adding that the third Monday in February also honors Gen. Robert E. Lee. "From what I have read about Lee, he was a great man and a great leader. But, Dr. King had a dream that was my dream, too, and for people in the north, south, east and west. He taught us to never give up our dreams. We must always remember that."

Fred Baxter and Taurus Myhand are too young to remember King but both have been influenced by his spirit and his courage.

"Anything worth having is worth working for and struggling for," the young men said. "Dr. King taught that you must never be discouraged and never give up. We all have dreams. We just need to have the courage to believe in them and the strength to keep going no matter what comes your way."

All of those who put up flags in honor of King felt the honor was theirs and all expressed appreciation to the city for the opportunity.

Mayor Jimmy Ramage said the flags were purchased for use by the city in a variety of ways.

"We are in the process of building a nutrition center and are also considering constructing a downtown park," Ramage said. "Flags can be appropriately used in these areas on many days. We will also make them available for use on days when the flags are not traditionally flown in Brundidge. I always like to see a flag flying. We are a patriotic country and the flag gives us a feeling of pride and security. We fly the flag proudly in Brundidge."