North Merrick Field of Flags

May 20 - June 14, 2021

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Field of Flags 2021

The flags are now flying on the front lawn of H.D. Fayette School for the North Merrick Field of Flags 2021! In a brief outdoor ceremony due to continued COVID safety protocols, Dr. Cynthia Seniuk, Superintendent of Schools, gave her introductory remarks, and Board President Megan Ryan thanked the Old Mill Road Student Council for hosting the event this year.

The OMR Student Council selected the Tunnel to Towers Foundation as the charity to receive the proceeds of the flag sponsorships. The OMR Executive Board also commemorated the Field of Flags on behalf of the district, the Board of Education, and the Merrick American Legion Post 1282 led by Commander Robert Dishman.

Student Council President Jaden Megias spoke about the meaning of the Field of Flags: "Field of Flags is a way to honor the warriors and heroes who have fought for our country. It is important to honor these people because they’ve put their own lives at risk just so we could be safe. This year, Field of Flags also includes honoring the first responders and essential workers who risked their own lives over the past year and continue to do so to help care for people sick with Covid-19. Honoring them through the Field of Flags is a small way to demonstrate our admiration, respect and thanks for all they've done and continue to do."

Send Your Photos with Field of Flags!

Take a photo with the flag you sponsored or within Field of Flags and send the photo to Please identify the people in the photo, and attach the photo as a jpeg. The photos will be posted in a community gallery on the district website.

OMR Student Council Selected Tunnel to Towers Foundation as this Year's Charity

OMR Vice President Alison Pierce explains: "The Tunnel to Towers Foundation honors NYC firefighter Stephen Siller, who lost his life on September 11, 2001 while saving others. After gathering his equipment, he found that the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was closed. With 60 lbs. of gear, he ran back to the Twin Towers. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation was formed to honor other firefighters, first responders and military members who lose their lives or are seriously injured serving others. The foundation pays off the mortgages for heroes' families, most recently for the family of the NYPD officer who was killed. They also provide smart homes for seriously injured heroes.

Old Mill Road Student Council felt that after the events of the past year of the pandemic as well as the upcoming 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Tunnel for Towers was the perfect charity to support with the proceeds of the Field of Flags."

Honoring the American Flag

To honor the American flag, it is important to display and handle the Stars and Stripes respectfully, according to the U.S. Flag Code, created by Congress in 1942, which describes the rules of etiquette.

When the American flag is not on display, it should be folded carefully and stored safely. The flag is folded into a triangular shape as a symbol of the three-cornered hat worn by colonial soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The flag is folded 13 times to represent the original 13 colonies, and each fold has its own special meaning. Instructions for the proper folding of the American Flag.

The origin of the flag-folding tradition is unknown, but the American Legion believes it may be traced to the Gold Star Mothers of America or the United States Air Force Academy. North Merrick follows these protocols for every flag flown in the Field of Flags.

History of the POW/MIA Flag

In 1971, Mary Hoff, wife of Michael Hoff, a Navy pilot missing in action (MIA) in Vietnam, recognized the need for a flag to symbolize the plight of Prisoners of War (POW) and those who were MIA.

Mrs. Hoff brought the idea to an executive at Annin & Company, an historic flag maker. Newt Heisley, a World War II veteran and Bronze medal recipient for his service in the South Pacific, was the art director at Annin & Company who designed the POW/MIA flag.

Mr. Heisley created a stark black and white silhouette of a soldier with the motto “You Are Not Forgotten.” The soldier’s gaunt profile was modeled after the appearance of his son, a U.S. Marine on medical discharge who was suffering from Hepatitis.

In 1972, the flag was manufactured for distribution. It became a highly visual reminder to advocate for POWs and account for those who were MIA. In 1982, the POW/MIA flag was the only flag other than the American flag to fly over the White House, and in 1989, the POW/MIA flag was installed in the Capitol Rotunda.