Missouri Governor Mike Parson was in the Ozarks Thursday to give a special gift to some of the area's most patriotic young people. He presented a Missouri Flag to College of the Ozarks.
"It's not as much about what a flag means, it's what it represents. Whether it's the Missouri Flag or whether it's the United States of America Flag, when you start looking back to see what all those have both been through, and what they have both survived, good times and bad times, and what that symbol stands for, that's who we are," Governor Parson said.
The flag he gave to the college was presented to Governor Parson in Hawaii after being flown over the USS Missouri Battleship during a special ceremony at Pearl Harbor, as submarine crew members came home from deployment.
"Much like those sailors, when they stood out there on top of the deck of the nuclear submarine and they said, 'Who are we? We are the mighty MO,'" Governor Parson said.
It's those men and woman who proudly serve whom students at C of O are taught to respect.
"There are a lot of disparaging things being said about our country and it's really important for a place like College of the Ozarks to take a leadership role and to remind our young people about the importance of patriotic values and how they can support the country, even though they may never wear a uniform," VP of Patriotic Activities at College of the Ozarks Dr. Marci Linson said.
Some students, though, have already put on that uniform and say the governors visit reaffirms their commitment to serve.
"The Governor coming down and the General coming down, really fueled my passion to keep on moving," College of the Ozarks Student Matthew Vandiver said.
As these young people stand for their country, Governor Parson says it's that commitment that will represent this flag well.
"God Bless the United States of America. Thank you," Governor Parson said.
The flag will be displayed at different locations around the campus, so it can get the most exposure as possible.