Bright and early on Saturday, Sept. 24, the Roman Eagle Masonic Lodge in Aberdeen reclaimed a small piece of town history. For the first time in three decades, the American flag was hoisted on the flagpole that originally stood in front of the old Aberdeen Police Department. Now, thanks to the efforts of the Roman Eagles, it has been restored to its former glory and installed outside of their lodge.
Roman Eagle Masonic Lodge 550 held a dedication ceremony in honor of the flagpole and those who have served beneath its flag before speaking on the history of the flagpole itself. Initially, the flagpole stood outside of the original Aberdeen Police Department before the police department moved to a new location. When the site of the police department was changed, the flagpole was removed and seemingly forgotten.
Then, a few months ago, a member of the Roman Eagles was at Burney’s Hardware coincidentally shopping for parts to construct a new flagpole for the lodge when he was informed of the flagpole currently kept in storage at none other than Burney’s Hardware. The flagpole was given as a gift in exchange for it finding a good home where it would be used and respected.
According to Senior Warden David Puckett, several members of the police department and town officials who once raised and lowered the flag were past masters from the lodge.
A Masonic dedication was held, and it was declared that the craftsmen had performed their duty, and the flagpole was true. An honor guard unit from Nazareth 41 Commandery hosted the flag presentation led by Eminent Commander Trent Carter.
The flagpole was stripped, sanded, primed, and painted until it was once again as sleek and beautiful as it was decades prior. An eagle was installed on top of it, and Lee Electrical Construction Inc. assisted the Roman Eagles in erecting the pole in front of the building.
The ceremony to honor the flagpole included a prayer, an instrumental performance of the national anthem, and an official flag presentation from the honor guard. Afterward, the masons, their families, and guests gathered to celebrate with a luncheon.
The Roman Eagles remain grateful to Burney’s Hardware for their generous contribution and look forward to serving beneath the flagpole for many, many years to come.
~Article and photos by Abegail Murphy.