Debute of new 'Old Glory'

Gov. Egan speaks to crowds of thousands on Capitol Hill

Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2009

As the new 49-star flag was raised in ceremonies on Juneau's Capital Hill, at 3p.m. on Independence Day, Gov. William A. Egan said:

Courtesy Of The Juneau-Douglas City Museum
Courtesy Of The Juneau-Douglas City Museum

"It is proper to recall that so many of the steps leading to statehood were taken here in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. It is appropriate, too, that we have waited until this hour to hoist the new yet Grand Old Flag - up that pole, for this is Juneau, the capital city of Alaska.

"The finality of the action at this time, and at this place, definitely ties the knot that binds all communities as one over our great state."

The governor spoke to a crowd of thousands who thronged the hillside to witness the unfurling of the new banner and the dedication of a commemorative monument.

For the dramatic flag-raising ceremony, a color guard removed the old 48-star flag while a second color guard received from Gov. Egan the new banner, and slowly raised it while the Yukon Defense Band played the "Star-Spangled Banner." Then the audience stood silent as a 49-shot aerial bomb volley saluted the new flag.

As the Alaska flag was raised to join the new American flag, the Harmonettes sang the "Alaska Flag Song."

After the flag raising, Judge Raymond J. Kell, spoke on the national heritage of Alaska's pioneer spirit, and Colonel H.D. Smith of the Alaska Command spoke on "Alaska's strategic import." Then Gov. Egan spoke, noting the potential for development that statehood has ushered in for Alaska.

We will find that the road of statehood is not always easy, Egan said, but it will be "a course clothed with the dignity and satisfaction of self-determination." And he said, "the 49th star will always maintain the dignity that is intended for it."

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