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Supervisor hosts star-spangled celebration for Flag Day, 247th birthday of U.S. Army

Sgt. Curtis Sung and Sgt. Diego Johnson, with the Marine Corps Air Station Tustin Young Marines fold a U.S. flag.
Sgt. Curtis Sung,18, left, and Sgt. Diego Johnson, 13, with the Marine Corps Air Station Tustin Young Marines give a flag-folding demonstration during a Flag Day celebration to mark the 247th anniversary of the U.S. Army on the lawn of the Old Orange County Courthouse on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 in Santa Ana.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Hearts beat true ‘neath the red, white and blue outside Santa Ana’s Old Orange County Courthouse Tuesday as citizens, military personnel and first responders celebrated Flag Day and the 247th birthday of the U.S. Army.

District 2 Supervisor Katrina Foley, who co-hosted the event with the Exchange Club of Newport Harbor, said organizers hoped to not only honor the June 14, 1777, adoption of the U.S. flag but pass down lessons about what the standard symbolizes.

Supervisor Katrina Foley watches as the color guard with the Sunburst Youth Academy passes by.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley watches as the color guard with the Sunburst Youth Academy of the Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos presents the colors during a Flag Day celebration on the lawn of the Old Orange County Courthouse.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“I love America and am very patriotic, but I also believe we want to carry on these traditions for our next generation,” she said Monday. “Our flag means so much to so many, both good and bad, and we want to honor the good.”

A “Field of Flags,” contributed and installed by the Exchange Club, provided a visual representation of the number of years the Army has served the nation since forming as the Continental Army in 1775. Some bore tributes to local military personnel and first responders.

Steve Spriggs, Supervisor Katrina Foley and Col. Julie Balten cut a cake during a Flag Day ceremony.
Steve Spriggs, left, a U.S. Army veteran, O.C. Supervisor Katrina Foley and Col. Julie Balten with Los Angeles District for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cut a cake during a Flag Day ceremony on Tuesday in Santa Ana.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Along with comments from Col. Julie A. Balten, 63rd Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and retired U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Raymond Williamson, attendees received a lesson in flag etiquette from the Marine Corps Air Station of Tustin’s Young Marines program, whose members demonstrated the proper folding of a U.S. flag.

Each of the 13 folds holds meaning, including honoring veterans, allegiance to the flag and the national motto, “In God We Trust.” Boy Scouts from Troop 440 of Buena Park collected old, worn and unserviceable flags to retire them in a separate ceremony.

“We are all Americans — we have been through struggles, but we’re resilient, much like our flag,” Foley said. “We’re vigilant, and we will get through [these times] if we all come together.”

Nick Berardino salutes during a presentation of the colors at the Old Orange County Courthouse.
Nick Berardino salutes during a presentation of the colors at a Flag Day celebration at the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

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