It’s official. Neligh is now the “Flag Capital of Nebraska,” as declared by Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Although Ricketts was unavailable on Monday, Lt. Gov. Mike Foley met with Blackburn Manufacturing’s Jennifer Blackburn-Nielsen and Krista Schindler, along with Neligh Economic Development Director Greg Ptacek, at the state capitol to make the official proclamation.
The proclamation comes just days before “Flag Day” is celebrated on Sunday. In honor of Flag Day, volunteers are needed to help line Highway 275 with flags, as well as take them down. Those wanting to help are asked to meet at Blackburn Manufacturing at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Being named “Flag Capital of Nebraska” is due to the success of Blackburn Manufacturing, which has been named the World’s Greatest Flag Company.
“Blackburn Manufacturing is a staple in Nebraska’s manufacturing industry,” Ptacek said. “This Flag Day Celebration has the potential to catch some state-wide attention. We wanted to keep the first year small but have some big plans for upcoming Flag Day Celebrations and hope to catch more publicity for this under-appreciated, yet very patriotic holiday. Neligh already looks good on Flag Day, we hope to kick it up a notch."
Blackburn Manufacturing is planning to celebrate the event with a community-wide contest and lots of prizes. With the “Yard Art Contest,” residents will use marking flags to create a design in their yard. The flags will be provided for free from Blackburn and prizes will be awarded to the top three designs.
Beginning now through June 12th, residents can pick up bundles of red, white and blue marking flags at Blackburn and arrange them in their yard. Participants will leave their name and address of the design, so judges can view their yard art. Once a yard has been judged, Blackburn representatives will leave a sign in their yard designating them as participating in Neligh’s Flag Capital of Nebraska Yard Art Contest.
Schindler said the designs could be an American flag, Husker “N”, Warrior mascot, Neligh logo, shape of Nebraska and just about anything residents can come up with.
“It will be fun to see everyone’s creativity,” she said. “I hope this sparks the patriotic spirit of Neligh.”
The prize packages will also be Neligh-themed, Schindler said, because “we have always supported our local community. This is another way to do that and encourage others to support local businesses as well.”
First Place: Two tickets to Montgomery Gentry at the Antelope County Fair, $100 in Neligh Big Bucks, a Neligh jacket and two passes to the Neligh Young Men’s Club street dance.
Second Place: Two tickets to the Antelope County Fair Demo Derby, $50 in Neligh Big Bucks, a Neligh t-shirt and two passes to the Neligh Young Men’s Club street dance.
Third Place: Two tickets to the Antelope County Fair bull riding, $25 in Neligh Big Bucks, a Neligh t-shirt and two passes to the Neligh Young Men’s Club street dance.
Anyone with questions can contact Schindler by emailing email@example.com.