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Medora to celebrate 20th annual All Horse Flag Day Parade

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The view of Medora from the Pancratz Trail. (Dickinson Press file photo)
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MEDORA, N.D. — On Tuesday, 11 September 2001 terrorists seized passenger jets and crashed them into two New York skyscrapers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing thousands of people. The next year, in Medora, N.D., patriots gathered to highlight patriotism on Flag Day. The celebration has become a mainstay on the Western Edge and will celebrate its 20th year this June.

Preparations are underway for the annual “All Horse” Flag Day parade, to be held on Flag Day, June 14, 2022. A commencement and celebration conclusion time have not been finalized.

"In 2002, the Medora Chamber of Commerce decided to hold a Flag Day parade to show our support to those affected by the disaster and loss of the Twin Towers in New York City," Mary Griffin, chair of the Medora Chamber of Commerce, said. "It was determined that visitors always are drawn to horses, thus the idea to have a parade with all entries being either horses and riders, or horses drawing buggies or wagons."

The Second Continental Congress, taking a reprieve from writing the Articles of Confederation, passed a resolution on June 14, 1777, officially codifying the American flag to be "13 stripes, alternate red and white,” with the “union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

On the centennial of that historic resolution, then President Woodrow Wilson marked the anniversary by establishing June 14 as Flag Day. The first celebration of this newly established day was held in Fedonia Township in Wisconsin.

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"A young schoolteacher, Bernard J. Cigrand, stirred by a deep love of the American Flag, held the first Flag Day exercises in a little country schoolhouse atop Schumaker Hill in Fredonia Township," Griffin said. "An added connection to Medora is that former Medora residents, the Neuens family, were grandchildren of the man who donated stony land on the top of a hill of his farm for the schoolhouse where Cigrand held the first Flag Day exercises – thus the schoolhouse was named Stony Hill Schoolhouse."

This celebration this year in Medora will feature flags and horses in large numbers.

All entries are strongly encouraged to decorate their entries with red, white, blue yarn or ribbons and to dress in red, white and blue.

"Yarn can be braided into the manes and tails of the horses if owners so desire," Griffin said. "The Medora Chamber also encourages the entries to add small American flags to their entries or onto their tack on their horses."

Prizes will be awarded by the all volunteer Medora Chamber of Commerce for entrants.

Questions can be forwarded to parade organizers at 701 623-4378, or via email at custerscottage@midstate.net.

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