Old Glory Landmark signifies celebration of Helena community as Fourth of July approaches

HELENA, Mont. -- The Old Glory Landmark at Centennial Park in Helena is more than just a big American flag billowing in the breeze. Of course, it's a symbol of patriotism and liberty. But for the folks in Montana's capital city, it serves as an ever-present reminder of community.

For 19 years, Centennial Park has been home to a massive 800-square-foot American flag, attached to a 100-foot tall pole, surrounded in stone by the names of over 500 donors who helped to put it all together.

It's a project of patriotism that sits proudly along the entrance to downtown Helena.

But before 2015, something had been missing--a way to celebrate what the community had created. And there was no better day to do it than on America's birthday.

"We're sitting around the table, saying, 'You know, Helena ought to have a Fourth of July celebration!'" said Chuck Butler, president of the Old Glory Landmark Committee and the Helena Ambassadors.

"East Helena has a big fireworks display every year, but the City of Helena hadn't had one since... they couldn't remember when," Butler continued. "That was in the winter of 2015, and, boom, within a few months, we had a celebration."

The festivities were put on hold the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the celebration returns in 2022 bigger than ever--with live music, bounce houses, and free hot dogs and root beer floats, all open to the Helena public on the morning of Monday, July 4.

But the highlight of the day comes at 11:30: a raising ceremony to honor Old Glory itself, the icon of Helena pride and unity, set to fly over the capital city for many more years to come.

"Thousands of people drive by this landmark every day, and it's just an opportunity to say, 'Thank God we live here in the United States of America, and Helena, Montana,'" Butler said.

Additionally, a number of bricks at the Old Glory Landmark remain unclaimed for the time being. If you want to immortalize someone in the Helena community forever by putting their name in stone, you can get in contact with the Old Glory Landmark Committee about making a donation by reaching out on their Facebook page or visiting their website.

Originally published on montanarightnow.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.