Today is “Iowa State Flag Day” — and the celebration is centered in the south-central Iowa city of Knoxville. Brian Stickel of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce explains. He says Knoxville is the birthplace of the Iowa flag, which was designed by Dixie Cornell Gebhardt of Knoxville.

The flag was approved by Iowa Governor William Harding and the State Council of Defense in May of 1917, and was first used by Iowa regiments in World War One. Stickel says today is a day to think about out state. He says the flag day was set aside to encourage schools, civic organizations, government departments and all citizens and groups to reflect on the flag and our heritage.

Stickel says there’ll be some special events tonight in Knoxville. Stickel says they’ll have a presentation by the V-F-W and American Legion color guard, along with other activities. He says they’ll also sing the “renowned state flag song,” which was written by Knoxville resident Neil Osborn.

Stickel invites everyone to share in the state flag day and celebration of our state. He says, “It’s a great day for Iowa, and certainly a time to reflect on Iowa’s history and heritage, and really what Iowa represents, which is a healthy and hardy lifestyle.” The events in Knoxville begin this evening at five p.m. near the Marion County Courthouse.