Today is the beginning of Illinois’s year-long bicentennial celebration. Counties and municipalities across the state read special proclamations and raised an Illinois Bicentennial Flag.
A couple of dozen people gathered next to the flagpole in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore to hear County Chairman Mark Pietrowski read a letter from State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, on the significance of the anniversary.
County Historian Sue Breese talked about contributions by area residents to Illinois. Pietrowski then read a proclamation announcing the county’s participation in the state’s bicentennial celebration:
“And now therefore be it declaimed that DeKalb County Government endorses the efforts of Illinois Bicentennial and encourages all citizens to participate in the celebrations as we honor and learn about the proud heritage of the great State of Illinois.”
At noon, in a scene recreated at locations across Illinois, two members of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War raised the state bicentennial flag into position on the courthouse flagpole, just below the U.S., POW/MIA and Illinois flags.
Attendees then recited the Pledge of Allegiance to round out the event.
The state’s bicentennial flag features the number “200” in a white sunburst within the state’s outline, encircled by gold stars.
Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled the bicentennial flag Sunday -- the state’s 199th anniversary -- in Chicago with the cast of Hamilton. Deputy Gov. Leslie Munger, the Bicentennial Commissioners, and WWII veterans will participate in today’s noon-time ceremonies at McCormick Place in Chicago.
More than 125 cities, counties, and villages raised the bicentennial flag during noontime ceremonies. There’s more information at the state’s official bicentennial site, illinois200.com.
- WNIJ's Susan Stephens contributed to this report.