Illinois Bicentennial Year Kicks Off with Flag Raising Ceremonies

At noon on December 4 municipalities across Illinois conducted flag raising ceremonies to mark the beginning of the state’s bicentennial year. What better place to witness the beginning of the state’s 200th anniversary year than in the state capital? So we hopped in the car and made the two-and-a-half hour drive to Springfield, where the Illinois Bicentennial flag was to be raised atop the Old State Capitol.

A small crowd of media and local dignitaries gathered in front of the steps of the Old State Capitol. Springfield mayor Jim Langfelder began the ceremony with a welcome, followed by a few words from Pam VanAlstine. VanAlstine is the Illinois Bicentennial Springfield Co-chair.

Springfield Mayor Langfelder and Pam VanAlstine, Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising ceremony in Springfield IL
Left, Mayor Jim Langfelder; right, Pam VanAlstine, Illinois Bicentennial Springfield Co-chair.

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Mayor Langfelder then presented “Abraham Lincoln” with a proclamation. The proclamation calls upon “all citizens to mark this as a start of a year-long celebration.” State-wide events are planned throughout the year leading up to Illinois’ December 3, 2018, 200th birthday.

Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony, Abraham Lincoln Impersonator

Following the proclamation presentation, Maya Ojugbele sang the national anthem and Damian Kaplan sang the Illinois state song, “Illinois.”

Maya Ojugbele and Damian Kaplan, Illinois Bicentennial flag raising ceremony in Springfield IL
Maya Ojugbele (left) sang the national anthem. Damian Kaplan sang the Illinois State song.

The ceremony concluded with the count down to the flag raising.

Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising in Springfield

Illinois Bicentennial Flag flies atop the Old State Capitol

More about the Illinois Bicentennial

We look forward to a year of bicentennial celebrations throughout Illinois. For information on upcoming Illinois Bicentennial events, visit to the Illinois200 website.


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