SPARTA — The Sparta Elks hosted a Flag Day celebration Tuesday evening outside the municipal building. Small versions of Old Glory lined the walkway and large flags hung from staff and firetruck ladder, as numerous organization presented their colors.The Sparta Police Department, the Sparta Fire Department and EMTS, Knights of Columbus from both St. Kateri parish and Our Lady of the Lake, the Sparta VFW, Sparta UNICO, Sparta Kiwanis, the Elks, and local boy scout and girl scout troops participated, as did residents and members of local government. About 100 attended the ceremony, which took on a solemn air. People joined in singing the National Anthem and God Bless America. Officials gave short speeches.“So many fought and died for the freedom our flag symbolizes, that I am so proud to see so many Spartans come out in honor of Old Glory,” said Sparta Mayor Josh Hertzberg. “A big thank you to the Elks and to all the groups that came out and participated.”Councilman Gil Gibbs explained that retiring U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), who was unble to make the event, sent two American flags that had been flown over the Capitol in Washington to be presented to the Sparta Elks and the Sparta VFW. The Elks, with the assistance of boy scouts an girl scouts, gave a history lesson by presenting 8 historical versions of the flag. After the ceremony, attendees went across the street to the VFW property, where that group hosted an outdoor dinner.