PERRY COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Perry County high school that lost its flagpole during Hurricane Katrina is now proudly displaying the stars and stripes on a new pole, donated by a national fraternal insurance company. Today, Perry Central High School hosted a dedication ceremony for a new flagpole. The pole, along with American and Mississippi flags, were donated by local representatives of Woodmen of the World.
The school's old flagpole was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Woodmen of the World stepped in at the request of principal Dr. Tilman Parnell, who came to the school 3 years ago.
"It is a new day at Perry Central High School," said Dr. Parnell. "We no longer have to pledge to an imaginary American flag or a State flag, or an imaginary flagpole. We can now pledge to the real thing," Parnell said.
"We're the largest provider of American flags outside of our federal government and we were very fortunate to find some money in our lodge at the end of the year that would let us purchase this flagpole," said Eddie Jenkins, area manager for Woodmen of the World.
The first flag-raising was performed by freshman Greg Dearmen, son of army major and Perry County School Superintendent Gregory Dearman, who is currently serving in Afghanistan.