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New flags donated to courtroom

Jettie Everette recently sat on an Escambia County grand jury — and she noticed that the flags in the main courtroom were looking a bit worse for wear.

Thanks to Everette, visitors to the main courtroom will see a couple of new additions near the judge’s bench.

Representatives for the Woodmen of the World Lodge 1872 presented a new U.S. Flag and Alabama State Flag Wednesday to be used in the courtroom.

Everette and her husband, Gordon, brought the flags complete with pedestals and poles to the courtroom for display.

“I had the opportunity to serve on the grand jury recently,” Jettie said. “I noticed then that the flags here were looking pretty old.”

The Everetts decided to make the courtroom the recipient of one of the many flags donated by the Woodmen of the World.

“We give our more flags than anybody except the U.S. government,” Gordon said. “We give flags to churches, schools, and just about anybody that requests one.”

Jettie said the group plans to make donations of several flags on the upcoming Flag Day holiday.

“We are happy to donate flags to anybody who requests them if we can,” Jettie said. “We have donated indoor and outdoor flags for schools, the Chamber of Commerce in Atmore, Atmore City Hall and fire stations. We’re happy to do it.”

Judge Bert Rice was on hand for the presentation of the courtroom flags and was glad to see the new additions to the décor.

“I know I’m the oldest person here to serve on the bench and I think those flags have been here the entire time,” Rice said. “I think these are the same flags we see in the portrait of Judge Webb and that was done in the 1970s.”

Rice said the American flag is used in every jury case tried in the courtroom.

“When we have a jury case we have everyone stand and recite the pledge of allegiance to start the day,” Rice said. “We’ve probably had 1,000 people a year reciting the pledge of allegiance in this room.”

Judge Bradley Byrne, also on hand for the presentation, said the older flags wouldn’t be destroyed but would be used in a new location.

“Our auxiliary courtroom has no flags,” Byrne said. “We will probably use those flags in that courtroom. They will have a place to be used.”