Shaping a positive future for our veterans, our military and their families.

Americanism

Department of Alaska
Americanism Chairman - 2017-2018
Barb Nath

2017-2018 American Legion Auxiliary Americanism

WHAT IS THE PROGRAM AND WHY DO WE HAVE IT?

Americanism is a program to promote patriotism and responsible citizenship. Its purpose is to inspire, recognize and perpetuate responsible citizenship through education and acts of patriotism, in order to raise awareness and increase appreciation of the price paid for our fundamental freedoms.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. Be knowledgeable on flag history, etiquette and proper disposal methods; and promote the observation of patriotic holidays so your community will look to the ALA for information.

IDEAS:

Members

  • Publish the flag etiquette tips in your newspaper and on social media.
  • Practice respect for our flag at public events, such as sporting events.
  • Educate others on how to respect the flag.
  • Volunteer for a local patriotic event.
  • Sign up to receive notifications on when to display your flag at half-staff at www.legion.org.
  • If you have an idea about how to promote Americanism, let your unit know.
  • Assemble pocket flags to be distributed by units.

Units

  • Conduct a flag disposal ceremony.
  • Host flag awareness events and communicate information.
  • In schools
  • At your post home
  • At public functions
  • Participate in local patriotic holiday events.
  • Organize a patriotic holiday event.
  • Encourage local businesses to fly a flag, especially on patriotic holidays.
  • Encourage members to fly a flag.
  • Order pocket flag kits and distribute to members for assembly.
  • Identify and distribute assembled pocket flags to active-duty military overseas.

2. Encourage members to vote and to support the amendment to protect the United States flag from desecration. The amendment currently reads “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.”

IDEAS:

Members

  • Contact state and federal representatives, asking them to support the flag amendment.
  • Vote.
  • Encourage others to vote.
  • Take your children/grandchildren with you when you vote -- many places have kid-related voting.
  • Recruit others to support the flag amendment by explaining what it is and why it is important.
  • Attend the annual ALA Washington DC Conference (see www.ALAforVeterans.org for details)

Unit

  • Encourage members to contact state and federal representatives, asking them to support the flag amendment.
  • Encourage members to participate in Get Out the Vote and Kids Voting USA campaigns.
  • Guidelines: www.legion.org/vote and www.kidsvotingusa.org
  • Encourage member participation at the annual ALA Washington DC Conference.

3. Increase participation in the Americanism Essay Contest. This year’s theme is “How does learning about government and our America help you become a future guardian of the liberties of our country?” Click here to download Americanism Essay Contest Cover Sheet

IDEAS:

Member

  • Encourage your children/grandchildren to participate in the essay contest.
  • Offer to contact schools or other organizations.
  • Help judge the essays.

Unit

  • Contact schools and other organizations such as Young Marines, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and 4-H about the essay contest.
  • Offer incentives for essay winners.
  • Encourage Junior members to participate in the essay contest.
  • Creation information packets explaining contest rules, deadline dates, theme and award opportunities.
  • Contact the essay winner and their parents. Invite the parents to bring their child to your next Auxiliary meeting to read his/her winning essay. Provide refreshments.
  • Work with school administration to identify guidance counselors, history teachers, etc. whose students would be interested in participating.
  • Arrange for a day with the schools (preferably during a student assembly) to present the essay winners with their prizes. Provide cash award and/or savings bond.
  • Invite media to attend the event.
  • Be sure to include this information in your unit report to your district, department and national chairman.

4. Participate in the promotion of American Legion Americanism programs.

IDEAS:

Member

  • Support American Legion Baseball
  • Help with statistics
  • Work the concession booth.
  • Donate to a team.
  • Contact local sports shops and ask if they would be willing to make donations toward a fundraiser or offer a discounted price to purchase needed items.
  • Support the Oratorical Contest
  • Help prepare post home to sponsor local or district contest.
  • Offer to be a judge or timekeeper.
  • Offer to help out with refreshments.
  • Provide transportation for candidates.
  • Help recruit candidates at local schools and other organizations.
  • Contact history teachers or debate coaches.
  • Support the Junior Shooting Sports, which promotes gun safety and marksmanship training for youth.
  • Volunteer to help out with scoring, supervising or transportation.
  • Help recruit candidates at local schools and other organizations.
  • Contact JROTC at local schools.

Unit

  • Work with post and/or district Americanism chairman.
  • Support American Legion Baseball.
  • Sponsor a team.
  • Help with statistics.
  • Man the concession booth.
  • Hold a fundraiser.
  • Drive the team to games.
  • Support the Oratorical Contest either at your post level or district level.
  • Offer to provide volunteers as timekeepers or judges.
  • Offer to help out with refreshments.
  • Offer to host a contest.
  • Help recruit candidates at local schools and other organizations
  • Support Junior Shooting Sports, which promotes gun safety and marksmanship training for youth.
  • Offer to provide refreshments on event day.
  • Arrange transportation and/or supervision on event day.
  • Host an event at your post/unit home, if you have the space.

AMERICANISM REPORTING

Mid-Year Reports -- Due December 5, 2016. Each Unit Americanism Chairman is required to submit a narrative report by December 5, 2016 to the Department Americanism Chairman.

Year-End Reports -- Due April 15, 2017. Each Unit Americanism Chairman is required to submit a narrative report by April 15, 2017 to the Department Americanism Chairman.

As part of your narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:

  • How did you promote the Americanism essay contest?
  • How did units promote the flag program?
  • How did you promote patriotic holidays?
  • How did units encourage support of the flag amendment?
  • Did units support American Legion Americanism programs? How?
  • How did units promote Americanism in their community?

AMERICANISM AWARDS

Unit Award: Dorothy Pearl Most Outstanding Americanism Program

  • One unit Americanism chairman that reports the most outstanding Americanism program targeted to children and youth.
  • Attach award cover sheet and including name of award, as well as name and contact information for the department and unit Americanism chairman.
  • Must be typewritten in narrative format, not to exceed 1,000 words.
  • Include no more than five pictures and five news articles.
  • Must be submitted by the Department Americanism Chairman to the National Americanism Chairman.

Department Award: Most Outstanding Overall Americanism Program

  • One department chairman in each divisions (five overall awards)
  • Include award cover sheet
  • Must be typewritten in narrative format, not to exceed 1,000 words.
  • Include pictures, clippings, scrapbooks, folders, etc.
  • Must be submitted by the Department Americanism Chairman to the National Americanism Chairman.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES YOU CAN USE

  1. Emblem Sales: www.emblem.legion.org - flag education DVD: explains the history, significance, meaning, proper display and treatment of the U.S. flag. Let’s Be Right on Flag Etiquette - a “question and answer” booklet on proper flag etiquette.
  2. The American Legion Flag Advocacy: www.legion.org/flag
  3. The American Legion’s Action Programs of Americanism brochure: www.legion.org/publications
  4. Capitol Building flags: To order flags flown over the Capitol, contact your congressional representative or senator or visit his/her website. Flags are available for a nominal fee; four to six weeks should be allowed for delivery.
  5. Promote the Pocket Flag Project. www.pocketflagproject.com

 

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