Flag donation

Mayor Johnny Magee, front left, with Eddie Jenkins, front right, of WoodmenLife, along with state Chapter 173 members and city workers, on the steps of City Hall during the presentation of the company’s 65 new U.S. flags to the city. (Photo by Mark Thornton) 


WoodmenLife is keeping The City Beautiful decked out in red, white and blue for the patriotic summer months.

The company, which has been a part of Laurel for more than 100 years, donated 65 U.S. flags to the city that were installed downtown to fly from Memorial Day through Independence Day.

The Mississippi Chapter 173 of WoodmenLife Insurance Society made the recent presentation to Mayor Johnny Magee on the steps of City Hall, with several members and city workers who were installing the flags present. 

“Woodmen is proud to be a part of the Laurel community, and we are proud to promote patriotism through the donation of American flags,” said Taylor McLemore, member of Woodman Life Local Chapter 173.

Magee was grateful for the Woodmen’s generosity.

“This is a great service WoodmenLife provides to the city,” he said. “Their donation of 65 new American flags saved the city money in replacement costs for the downtown display. And their regular donations of Mississippi flags and American flags throughout the year ensure that we are able to replace flags before they become tattered and worn. 

“Mr. McLemore is a good friend to the city, as he helps us identify flags that need replacing. It is nice to have citizens who respect and honor our city and country and are committed to helping the city in this way.”

For more than 70 years, WoodmenLife’s patriotic program has presented American flags to various groups and now includes American History Awards to middle and high school students.

The local chapter has kept the city stocked with U.S. and state flags that fly at the city’s official flag sites, including City Hall, the Central Avenue round-about, the Veterans’ Memorial near the Laurel-Jones County Library, the veterans’ section of Hickory Grove Cemetery and at city fire stations and the Laurel police station.

The downtown display is up for three patriot holidays — Memorial Day, which was Monday, Flag Day (June 14) and Independence Day (July 4).

In 2015, Woodmen of the World fraternal benefit society implemented new branding as Woodmen Life, with a new logo and the tagline “Standing Strong for Generations.”

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