Flag Day at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park

A Joining together of like-minded interests

For the Flag Day celebration this year, SBAR-SAR collaborated with the S.B. Trust for Historic Preservation and the Spirit of 76 Foundation to present an outstanding public event to commemorate the birth of our National Flag.  Additionally, the raising of the first American Flag to fly over Santa Barbara in 1846 at the Presidio was recognized and commemorated.


Color Guards from the USAF, USN Sea Cadets, S.A.R., Los Soldados, and Los Padres Boy Scouts

The Celebration began with the ringing of the Presidio Bells, and the marching of color-guards from five separate organizations down Canon Perdido Street from the historic Post Office Building, to the front of the Presidio - built in 1782 during the Revolutionary War. The SAR was represented by former SBAR-SAR president, Ron Zell, and State Color Guard members, Karl Jacobs, James Fosdyk, and Kent Gregory


Opening presentations

Guests were welcomed by Paul Lamberton, President of the Spirit of 76 Foundation, followed by an invocation by Rev. Jerome Bellamy, and opening comments by Dr. Jarrell Jackman, Executive Director for the S.B. Historic Trust. 

Old Glory Comes to Santa Barbara

 The Stars and Stripes were first raised in Santa Barbara in 1846 when Commodore Robert Stockton anchored his ship, the USS Congress, in the Santa Barbara Harbor, and raised the Stars and Stripes at the Presidio. The painting below depicts this event, and was painted by R. Ruiz. 
 In commemoration of this event, SBAR-SAR donated a 28 star flag (the official flag in 1846) to the Presidio to be presented to one of the descendants of the original Soldados who established the Presidio in 1782. The USAF Honor Guard lowered the 28 star flag, folded it, and gave it to R. Ruiz, whose father created the painting of the event.

Photo by Un Hui Yi
JLR-Flag Day-6/14/2013_9058

Honoring 'Old Glory'

Following this ceremony, the USAF Color Guard raised a new 50 star flag, also a gift to the Presidio by SBAR-SAR. When the flag reached the top of the flagpole, a Civil War cannon was fired by Paul De Nubilo & Co., and the National Anthem was sung by Rickie Lee Benedetto. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by 
Afghanistan War Veteran, and candidate for S.B. City Council, Jason Nelson.


Introduction, Presentation, and Appreciation of Speaker - Dr. Roger McGrath

Don Loper, President of the Santa Barbara Sons of the American Revolution, introduced the speaker of the Day, noted historian, Dr. Roger McGrath, who gave an interesting and informative discussion of the history of the 'Star Spangled Banner'. (Transcript available here) Former Santa Barbara SAR President, Ron Zell presented a certificate of Appreciation to Dr. McGrath, and then Don and Ron presented Certificates of Appreciation to each of the Color Guards.  This was followed by a stirring rendition of 'Proud to be an American' by Adam Phillips.



All in all, it was a great day, and a great celebration.  Special thanks to photographers Jamie Rosenberg, Un Hui Yi, Mike Imwalle and Fritz Olenberger for sharing these wonderful photos.  Thanks also to all the participants and all those who came out for this event.  Special thanks also to Dr. Jackman and Paul Lamberton and their staffs for the cooperation with the SAR, and the hard work necessary to make this event occur.  More photos are available at the SBTHP Flickr page.