Bicentennial celebrations to begin

The first of what promises to be many bicentennial celebrations in Jackson County will happen at noon Friday on the lawn of the courthouse in Brownstown.

The event will involve raising the state’s official bicentennial flag to be flown at each of the courthouses in Indiana’s 92 counties and in cities and towns. The flags will remain up throughout the end of this year and during 2016, when the state celebrates its 200th birthday.

Friday was selected as the date of the flag raising because it’s the state’s 199th birthday, said Arann Banks of Brownstown.

Banks, who is executive director of the Jackson County Visitor Center, is serving as a liaison between the county and the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

She’s also a member of the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County, an organization planning events to celebrate Jackson County’s 200th birthday Jan. 1 and Brownstown’s bicentennial celebration April 8.

During Friday’s flag raising, county Commissioner Jerry Hounshel will read a proclamation tied to the state’s 199th birthday, and the bicentennial flag will be raised. A local student also may speak briefly, Banks said. The public is invited.

“It won’t be a long ceremony,” said Hounshel, who is president of the three-man county board of commissioners.

Banks said the state also has given bicentennial flags to the city of Seymour and the towns of Brownstown, Crothersville and Medora.

Seymour plans to raise its flag during a brief ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday at the Seymour Museum at Third and Chestnut streets. Mayor Craig Luedeman also will read a proclamation.

David Willey, Browns-town’s clerk-treasurer, said the town decided not to have a public ceremony to raise its flag.

“We just had a proclamation at our meeting Monday night,” he said.

That proclamation, signed by council President John Nolting, reflects all three bicentennial celebrations.

The flag will be raised late Thursday or sometime Friday and replace the current state flag, he said.

Banks said the state recently sent the flags out, which was later followed with instructions about when to raise them.

The white flag presents the Indiana 200 Bicentennial logo in the blue and yellow of the Indiana state flag. Bicentennial flags are available in full size (3-by-5-foot) and in miniature (4-by-6-inches), and they can be purchased at the Indianapolis office of the Indiana Historical Bureau and online at the IHB website,

“The flag is a symbol of unity as we kick off the bicentennial year,” said Perry Hammock, executive director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. “In their hometowns and in their travels, Hoosiers will see the bicentennial flag waving all across the state during our yearlong celebration.”

The Association of Indiana Counties participated in the program by donating flags to all 92 counties, said David Bottorff, the association’s executive director.

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What: Raising of the state’s bicentennial flag

Where: Jackson County Courthouse, 111 S. Main St., Brownstown

When: Noon Friday

Why: It’s the state’s 199th birthday

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To learn more about the bicentennial flag or to purchase one,