ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – Escanaba Jr/Sr High School is starting a program new to the state of Michigan called the F.L.A.G. Program. The acronym F.L.A.G. stands for “Fly, Lower, And Gather.” In this program, students who are interested will learn all about the American flag, its significance and the proper flag handling etiquette.

‘We’ll actually start working with the kids on educational stuff,” said Kim Pepin, the At-Risk Coordinator at Escanaba JR/SR High school. “We’ll start with why do we have a flag, what is its purpose, why do we raise it a certain way, why do we lower it a certain way, why do we fold it a certain way, why is it, you know, why is it folded so many times. There’s a meaning to each one of those.”

This program was brought to Escanaba Jr/Sr High School to help students get involved in their school and inspire them to be a part of something big.

“We want to make stronger kids that have great values that are patient and strong and persevere through things, just like they did with the flag, they never quit,” said Pepin. “And, one of the things, I have a sign in here that I show the kids that says ‘Persevere, Persevere, and continue”… And that’s what we want to teach these kids. We want to teach these kids resilience, we want to teach them to have honor and respect for something that’s even bigger than them.”

The program has not officially started yet, but a few students have already gotten involved.

“We have only done it once so far,” said Bon LaChance, a junior at Escanaba Jr/Sr High School. “You put the lever in and you crank it down and you make sure it doesn’t touch the ground. Before it gets too low, we grab it, then we take the bottom off, and we lower, then we fold it.”

“This program is important to us because it like, shows us how we can serve our country, and like, be involved with our school,” said Nick Hamlin, a senior at Escanaba Jr/Sr High School.

Escanaba Jr/Sr High School is the first school in the state of Michigan to start the F.L.A.G. Program.

‘It’s very cool to be the first one’s in the state of Michigan, and I hope it spreads,” said Jason Micheau, the assistant principal. “This is a good thing for our community. We’ve got a lot of service members, active and retired, in the area and not just our area, but Delta County, but throughout the U.P. So this is a great thing for other schools to do as well.”

The students will be given a certificate and a Flag lapel pin when they complete the program. If you are interested in the program, you can find their website here.

If you are interested in helping the F.L.A.G. Program with funds, you can call Escanaba JR/SR High School at (906) 786-6521 and ask for a principal or Kim Pepin directly.