Back row, left to right: Carson Clark, Marty Hardman, Larry Arrington, Randall Shedd; Front row, left to right: Presli Martin, Mali Gregory, Kaylyn Redding, Kolton Redding and Bryton Gardner (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)
FAIRIVEW – Fairview Elementary welcomed some important visitors Tuesday morning when Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview and Carson Clark, press secretary for the Cullman office of U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama presented the school with a few special flags.
Shedd returned a United States flag to Principal Marty Hardman and the Fairview Elementary Student Council that had flown over the state Capitol building in Montgomery on Aug. 13, 2018. Shedd also surprised the school with two Alabama state flags. One of the state flags had also flown over the state Capitol building.
Clark returned a United States flag that had been flown at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on July 24, 2018. The flag was raised at the U.S. Capitol in honor of Fairview Elementary.
Each flag was returned to the school with official declarations. The flags will be framed and proudly displayed inside the school. Senator-Elect Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman provided the school with new flags for the project, as well as a new flag to be flown outside.
The project began several months ago, Hardman explained, “I got the idea from Larry Arrington. I’ve known Mr. Arrington my entire life and we go to church together. Our students sent letters to Representative Shedd and (Congressman) Aderholt asking for them to help in getting the flags flown and they came through. I ordered the school’s new flag pole yesterday.”
Hardman expects the flagpole to be up sometime next week. The school will fly the new U.S. flag, the second Alabama flag Shedd brought and a school flag. The school’s flag will resemble the current logo on the football helmets. The flag will be purple with “Aggies” in white and trimmed with gold.
Larry and Betsy Arrington were at the school when the flags were presented. Larry Arrington told the student council, “I’m so proud of Marty for taking on this project. I also raised the flag at this school for two years before graduating in 1963. I worked overseas in Bangkok, Thailand from 1993-1996. Sometimes I would walk down to the U.S. Embassy just so I could see the flag. I’d get chill bumps every time.”
Shedd, a 1971 graduate of Fairview, added, “It certainly doesn’t need to be taken for granted. The flag should be respected.”
Shedd and Clark were impressed by the students’ handwritten notes. Clark, whose mother is a former principal of Fairview Elementary, was happy to help the students. Shedd brought several of the notes to Mr. Arrington.
As Mr. Arrington read the notes, he said, “I am so happy these kids have some good quality flags. They should really be proud.”
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