The four flags fly at Heritage Point. Photo by Brian Hagberg.

Touring Warren County – Hope & Optimism the Theme at Four Flags Ceremony

May 25, 2024

WARREN, Pa. – The annual Four Flags Ceremony serves as a reminder of Warren County’s rich heritage and the peoples who shaped the county into what it is today.

See the full event:

Each year, the City and service organizations like the Rotary, Lions, Exchange, and Kiwanis Clubs, and Daughters of the American Revolution present historical flags to raise at Heritage Point. Boy Scout Troop 13 raises each flag.

The four flags represent the different peoples who have inhabited the land known as Warren County. The Seneca flag for the indigenous peoples, the French flag for those settlers led by Celoron, the British flag for the Colonies, and the “Betsy Ross” US flag for the early United States.

City Manager Mike Holtz and event organizer Don Reed appeared on this week’s Coffee & a Conversation presented by White Cane Coffee to talk more about the event’s history.

This year’s keynote speaker, Bob Dilks, Jr., shared a theme that applied not only to the peoples of the past but to the present as well . . . hope and optimism.

“What brings us all here today,” Dilks said. “Yes, it is to honor the past, but I would like to suggest it’s simply hope and optimism.”

Dilks pointed to Celoron and his crew crossing rough oceans to bury lead plates, making the journey with nothing more than optimism they would claim the land. Following the French and Indian War, the British laid claim to the land, optimistic, Dilks said, that it would bring good fortune to the crown.

Boy Scouts Troop 13 members raise a flag during the 2024 Four Flags Ceremony. Photo by Brian Hagberg.

“A short 19 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Warren was established. But why here, why this place,” Dilks said. “Hope and optimism. The pioneers of this town were optimistic about the fortunes to be had in timber, tanning, oil, and refining among many others. Our natural resources were and still are abundant.”

The hope and optimism those early pioneers found in Warren, still remains, Dilks added.

“Fast forward to today, it’s perfect for tourism, a fantastic way of life, and ripe for those looking to escape the city to take advantage of the technologies of today and work remotely from this beautiful jewel of a city,” Dilks said.

It was the original inhabitants, the Seneca, Dilks said, for whom hope sprung eternal.

“This is their phrasing, ‘The land shall be beautiful, the river shall have no more waves, and that everyone may go everywhere without fear,’” Dilks said. “That’s a premise I think we can all get behind.”

“Today, my friends, hope and optimism brings us here to this special site to raise these flags, to pay respects, to pay tribute and salute the past, embrace the here and now, and smile optimistically about the future to come, ” Dilks said.

The Touring Warren County series on Your Daily Local is sponsored by the Warren County Visitors Bureau. Visit them at their office on Route 6 or online at wcvb.net.

See all the installments of our Touring Warren County series here.

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