Special Forces Regimental flag, one of many at House of Flags

Published 8:58 am Thursday, November 10, 2011

Don McInnis of Weddington, N.C. and Joe Epley of Polk County presented the Special Forces Regimental flag to the House of Flags on behalf of the Charlotte-based group of Special Forces veterans. Shown (from left to right) Joyce Preston, secretary; McInnis; Epley; Robert Williamson, House of Flags chairman; Elisabeth Burrell and Paul Southerland, House of Flags treasurer.

The grand opening of the House of Flags new location at 33 Gibson Street in Columbus on Veterans Day couldn’t be more appropriately timed.
Each flag has a history and story to tell.  According to their website, “The Flags tell the story of a group’s struggle for identity and freedom. In the House of Flags, if we listen closely enough, we can hear the stories of these flags ringing loud and clear.” Having been to the House of Flags at the previous location and having the opportunity to take a tour I can assure you that statement rings true.
Joe Epley shared the story of the Special Forces Regimental flag, which was recently donated by Chapter VI of the Special Forces Association and I’d like to share it with you.
The flag includes representations of the Special Forces heritage, including the cross arrows first worn by the U.S. Army’s Indian scouts in the late 1800s and the dagger designed especially for the joint American-Canadian 1st Special Service Force during World II, all on a field of Jungle Green, the official color of the U.S. Army Special Forces. The motto of the Special Forces – De Opresso Libre (To liberate the oppressed) — is displayed on the banner held by the American eagle.
The first Special Forces unit in the Army was formed June 11, 1952 when the 10th Special Forces Group was activated at Fort Bragg, N.C. During the 1960s there was a major expansion of Special Forces with 18 groups in the Regular Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard.  Headquartered at Fort Bragg, Special Forces units are located throughout the world in strategic locations.  The regiment currently consists of five Regular Army Special Forces Groups and two Groups in the National Guard.
Members of these elite groups of warriors are commonly called “Green Berets” because of the distinctive headwear worn only by qualified Special Forces soldiers serving in units of the First Special Forces.
The story of the Special Forces Regimental Flag is just one of the many that you will hear at the House of Flags. This Friday at noon, thanks to the hard work of too many to be named here, we have the unique opportunity to learn first hand about the history, and meaning of our flags. What a great way to share in our country’s history and honor our Veterans.

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