A Community of Volunteers Serving Veterans, Military, and their Families


Department of Alaska
Americanism Chairman - 2011-2022
Debbie Ervin

2019-2021 American Legion Auxiliary Americanism


The Americanism program is to promote patriotism and responsible citizenship.


There are three different opportunities through our Plan of Action which you can use to promote Americanism. Below are ideas for each of these opportunities. Find the area that fits your unit and then work on that throughout the year. These are just suggestions and if you have other activities/ideas please feel free to use them.

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.



  • Publish the flag etiquette tips in your newspaper and on social media.
  • Model respect for our flag at public events, such as sporting events.
  • Visit schools to give basic facts regarding our flag, national anthem and when we stand and put our hands over our hearts at parades and ball games.
  • Help to further education at schools regarding the Constitution (either whole or in part).
  • Volunteer for a local patriotic event.
  • Sign up to receive notifications on when to display your flag at half-staff (www.legion.org).
  • Contact and ask state and federal representatives to support the flag amendment.
  • Vote! Take your children/grandchildren with you when you vote-many places have kid-related voting. Encourage others to vote.
  • Recruit other to support the flag amendment by explaining what it is and why it is important. Sign up for The American Legion's Legislative action alerts and follow flag issues.
  • Work with local schools to further education of the Constitution, either whole or in part such as the Bill of Right or the Preamble.


  • Work with your Legion Post to increase respect for the flag in your community; invite the public to participate in a flag disposal ceremony.
  • Teach proper handling, displaying and respect for the American flag as well as our National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Organize a patriotic holiday event or participate in local patriotic holiday events(I.e.march in a parade).
  • Volunteer to keep up the area around the flag pole at your community's civic government area by planting seasonal flowers and collecting trash.
  • Encourage local businesses to fly the American flag, especially on patriotic holidays.
  • Provide American flags to your local schools for classrooms.
  • Order pocket flag kits and distribute to members.
  • Identify and distribute assembled pocket flag to active-duty military overseas.
  • Encourage Auxiliary members to contact state and federal representatives and ask them to support the flag amendment.
  • Encourage members to participate in Get Out the Vote and Kids Voting USA campaigns. For more information refer to www.legion./vote and www.kidsvotingusa.org
  • Work with local schools to further education of the US Constitution, either whole or in part such ad the Bill of Rights or the Preamble.

2. Increase participation in the Americanism Essay Contest. The theme is 'How can we address the health and well being of our Veterans Military and their families?'

Student Award: Americanism Essay Contest
Type of award: Citation, $50 prize and additional $50 donation added to the Children of Warriors National President's Scholarship Fund.
Presented to: 30 students total six from each division, one student for every class in each division
Materials and Guidelines:
The contest shall included six classes.
Class Grade Level Word Requirement
I 3 and 4 150-250
II 5 and 6 250-300
III 7 and 8 350-400
Iv 9 and 10 450-500
v 11 and 12 450-500
vI Student with special needs. Word count should correspond with student's grade level.
  • Students with special needs are define as:
    • Those in special education classes.
    • A student recommended for special education classes, but who has not been admitted due to a waiting list or various other factors.
    • A child identified as having a disability, but not in a special education class due to lack of facilities; identification contingent upon discretion of school officials.
  • Entries must include the Americanism Essay Contest cover sheet found in the Americanism Annual Supplement to the Programs Action Plan.
  • Unit winners are sent to the department Americanism chairman, following department guidelines.
  • For deadline and division Americanism chairman contact information, please refer to the Americanism Annual Supplement to the Programs Action Plan.
  • National winners will be informed of their award via communication from National Headquarters. The award check will be mail directly to the student and the citation will be forwarded to the department for presentation.
  • While ALA representatives will do their best to return all essays, it is not guaranteed. We recommend participants retain a copy of their submission for their own records.
  • Encourage your children/grandchildren to participate in the essay contest.
  • Offer to contact schools or other organizations.
  • Help judge the essays.
  • Contact schools and other organizations. such as the Young Marines, Girl and Boy Scouts, and 4-H about the essay contest.
  • Encourage Junior members to participate in the essay contest.
  • Create 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.
  • Be sure to include this information on your unit report to your district, department, and national chairman.

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



  • 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 of affer a discounted price to purshase 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.
    • Proved 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, supervision, or transportation.
    • Help recruit candidates at local schools and other organizations.
    • Contact JROTC at local schools.


  • Work with Post and/or Department Americanism chairman.
  • Support American Legion Baseball.
    • 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 Department level.
    • Offer to provide volunteer 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.


Mid-Year Reports -- Due December 5, 2020. Each Unit Americanism Chairman is required to submit a narrative report by December 5, 2020 to the Department Americanism Chairman.

Year-End Reports -- Due April 15, 2021. Each Unit Americanism Chairman is required to submit a narrative report by April 15, 2021 to the Department Americanism Chairman.

There are two parts to your reports. Once is a narrative report and the other is a statistical report.

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?


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 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.


  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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