Austin observes US flag’s 235th birthday
Amid sweeping winds and cloudy skies, Austin residents gathered outside the Mower County Law Enforcement Center to celebrate a national birthday: that of the American flag.
Thursday marked the 235th anniversary of the present American flag, which was adopted in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress. Since that time, the only modifications to the flag have been to add stars for new states, said Norm Hecimovich, Mower County Veterans Memorial Committee chairman.
Boy Scouts raised and lowered the flags during the ceremony, a color guard member played the bugle and recent Austin High School graduate Lauren Jensen sang the National Anthem.
Despite an uncooperative microphone, the sounds of nearby car engines and a case of strep throat she said she was fighting off, Jensen could still be heard by those gathered. She said she enjoyed singing for the ceremony.
“It felt pretty good,” she said.
Hecimovich, guest speaker for the event who has taken part for the past five or six years, said everyone should honor the American Flag.
“When you look at the American Flag, it’s a proud symbol,” he said.
He described the meaning behind each component of the flag, including the 50 stars, which he said represent more than just the 50 states.
“It also stands for the high aspirations all Americans have,” he said.
He also explained how all subordinate flags can rise only after the American flag.
It is important to honor the flag, Hecimovich said, since it is the symbol Americans live under. Many people take that for granted, he said. He expressed concern that only about 30 people attended.
“I think there should have had more people here,” he said. “Without our flag and freedoms, what would we be doing today?”