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Four Flags Ceremony Celebrates County’s Heritage

May 23, 2024

WARREN, Pa. – One of Warren County’s most iconic summer symbols is the flags flying at Heritage Point on the edge of Crescent Park.

What started as three flags in 1968, became a 4-flag tribute to the county’s heritage in 1986. Every Memorial Day weekend, the flags are raised in a ceremony recognizing the county’s heritage, honoring the sacrifices made, and celebrating the changing seasons.

“Most people that have been around the city for years know that the four flags is certainly a symbol of the city and everybody looks forward to it,” City Manager Mike Holtz said.

The 2024 Four Flags Ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25. The ceremony will be moved to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pleasant Township in case of inclement weather.

Warren Mayor Dave Wortman will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and Bob Dilks, Jr. will deliver the keynote address.

“It’s a Memorial Day ceremony with the flags so we try to find somebody that’s either involved in the military or law enforcement or something like that,” Holtz said. “The mayor was in the armed services as well. So it’s a nice tie-in.”

Dilks’ father, who passed away last year, was instrumental in adding the fourth flag to the ceremony.

“His father was very active in the 1980s and was instrumental in getting the fourth flag put together with the Seneca Indians flag, so it was a nice tie-in,” Holtz said.

Though the ceremony has been an annual occurrence for more than 50 years, planning and coordination begin more than a month out.

“About a month prior to the ceremony is when we get together and try to make sure we get a master of ceremonies and a keynote speaker those were always the two things we have to do first or want to do in advance,” Holtz said. “Then after that’s done we purchase a new set of flags every year to be hung.”

Planners must also secure representatives from the county’s service organizations, Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs, along with the Daughters of the American Revolution to present the flags. Local Boy Scout Troops and the Warren Area High School band also have integral roles.

For Holtz, assuming the role of ceremony organizer represents a full-circle moment. He attended the ceremony as a child, and then played in the band while in high school.

More on that aspect of the ceremony can be heard in this week’s edition of Coffee & a Conversation, which will air at a special date and time this week on Friday at 10:30 a.m.

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