Flag-raising ceremony helps to celebrate Nebraska's Sesquicentennial

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LINCOLN, Neb. March 1st is Nebraska’s 150th birthday, and there are several events going on all year to celebrate the milestone.

On Wednesday, there was a special 37-star flag-raising ceremony at the Nebraska Statehood Memorial near the Nebraska State Capitol Building. The flag represents Nebraska’s admission as the 37th state in the Union.

“This is the first flag of Nebraska as Nebraska gets its star for the Union in 1867,” said Trevor Jones, Director of the Nebraska State Historical Society, “so it’s a very significant moment for the state celebration.”

The Sons of Union Veterans were present at the celebration and raised the flag outside the Nebraska Statehood Memorial—which is also known as the Thomas P. Kennard House.

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is the legal successor to the Grand Army of the Republic. It was originally one of several competing organizations of descendants of Union veterans.

“It’s important for Nebraska because it was Union veterans who settled this state and came here after the civil war ended,” said Jones. “They’ve got weapons from the period. They do this to educate people about the importance of the Civil War in our nation’s history.”

As part of the Nebraska 150 Celebration, the Thomas P. Kennard House will be open for free tours on March 1 until 4:00 p.m.
Thomas P. Kennard was Nebraska’s first secretary of state. He helped to establish Lincoln as the capital of Nebraska.

The home is located in the heart of Lincoln near the Nebraska State Capitol on 17th and H Streets. When you step inside the doors, it’s like taking a trip back in time.

“This building was in the middle of the open prairie with nothing around it,” said Jones. “It was a home that was built on hope. It’s a symbol of Nebraska’s growth over time and the audacity of the idea that we could build a state out of the prairie.”

For more information on the Thomas P. Kennard House and how to schedule a private tour, click here