By Naidy Cuadras
When Master Sergeant Schafer and Master Sergeant Allard moved to a new campus in 2009, Southeast Academy Military and Law Enforcement High School was formed. Every morning, students at the school execute a “ceremony” called Colors, in which they march to the flag pole and raise an 8 by 12 ft United States Flag. Colors are performed twice a day, in the morning and evening. Two separate groups of cadets perform this ceremony on a daily basis. Junior cadets raise the flag at the front of the school where the pole is located. This is called Junior Colors. Senior colors are performed next to the field with the 50-foot pole.
The flag pole located at the front of the school has been there since the school was established. However, the flag pole located next to the field was placed there in 2010. It is 20 feet deep, which means that it can withstand hurricane winds so it is well designed to remain in place and not be a hazard during a storm. To make this new flagpole significant, before the pavement was in place, Master Sergeant Allard and Master Sergeant Schafer threw in two Master Sergeant ranks and a Southeast Academy coin. Additionally, the roses that surround the pole are in tribute to Master Sergeant Allard’s mother. She loved roses, especially white and red, which is why the flagpole’s border was designed this way.
The flagpole not only has a special meaning to both Master Sergeants, but to the cadets at the school who stand quietly at the position of attention when colors go off. The afternoon ceremony is a reminder to the cadets that another day has passed. It is a quiet event which encourages unity among the cadets. The ceremony allows students to take the time to remember its meaning- that there are many people who have fought for and are fighting for our country. The Colors Ceremony is more than an everyday event: it is one of our most symbolic acts.