Flag Day Speech

June 14, 1998
By Gus Wirth Jr. "Sandy"

Thank you for that fine introduction, I must say that it is a pleasure and honor to be here today on this fantastic flag day, at the very spot where flag day was started. I read where Dr. Bernard Cigrand was paid $40 per month for being the school Master here at Stoney Hill School. As a County Supervisor, that rate of pay sounds pretty good to me.

But, before I go on, I would like to acknowledge a person that played an important part in keeping this flag day going as a tradition. That person is Horace Frederiksen. Hory passed away a few weeks ago, but I can feel his presence on this day that he loved so much, and nurtured so well. I can remember Hory, his sons and grandchildren coming out here before the flags poles were put in and checking each hole for frogs or other living creatures. As a county supervisor, I can attest to the dedication of this man, as not a week went by that he would not remind me to get some signs up to direct people to Stoney Hill school. His dedication can be witnessed at this fine site and all of the preserved history that will be passed along to the future generations. May I ask that you join me and pause for a moment of silence to remember Hory Frederiksen.

Just as this day and place was important to Hory and the Historical Society, it is extremely important to all of us. I can say that as a representative of Ozaukee County government, it is very important to us. To commemorate this importance, I would like to read to you a proclamation issued on June 7, 1998, from the Chairman of the Ozaukee County Board.

Read Proclamation;.
  • When I was asked, do people really believe it is important to have the birth of flag day in Ozaukee County, all I can say is that most every county vehicle has this emblem on the door showing Stoney Hill school. This along with many of the letter heads scream at us you bet it's important to all of us no matter where we live. Because when we see it on a daily basis, it is always on our mind.
And, when sitting here before and listening to Dr. Cigrand’s great nephew, I couldn’t help to wonder what went through School Master Cigrand’s mind when he saw the flag. Certainly it was not it’s intrinsic value, as the cloth would not keep you warm at night, and as a designer, I do not think one would want to put stars stripes and loud colors together. No, I am sure that Dr. Bernard Cigrand was looking at the flag as a symbol of what stands for. The culmination of years of trial and tribulation that went into the constitution. Maybe he thought of Benjamin Franklin leaving the hot room on that hot summer day after drafting the Constitution, and someone saying to him, “What have you wroth? A republic” he answered, followed by “if you can sustain it”. Maybe Dr. Cigrand taught the students about this new form of government, where one shall elect a representative to carry out their wills and desires. Maybe he used this flag on his desk to remind his student’s everyday, that many before them have made great sacrifices to sustain the Republic and keep us all free. Maybe he emphasized what Benjamin Franklin said and the challenge “A republic, if you can sustain it."

I know what the flag means to me. When I am traveling overseas, the flag means home, and when at home here in Wisconsin, it means safety. It means that we live in a place where we can be free to think and do what we feel is correct. It means that our dreams will not be suppressed by government, or others.

It was said, “Those that do not study history are doomed to relive it”. This place and this day represent a great deal of history that is available to study. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. As the saying goes, “We are all in this alone.” We must all, each day, take time out to look back and learn, because it is not important what the flag means to me, or for that matter what it meant to Dr. Bernard Cigrand, what is important is what the flag means to you!

Thank You