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Officials representing different levels of government from throughout Allen County today raised the Official Indiana Bicentennial Flag during a ceremony at the Allen County Courthouse.

The kickoff event included the reading of a proclamation from the Allen County Board of Commissioners designating December 11, 2015, as "Indiana Statehood Day" and the "Official Kickoff of the Bicentennial."

"The history of our state, our county and its people is valuable to our shared experience, and we recognize and celebrate the growth and greatness of our state and the limitless potential inherent in its future," the proclamation read.

Speakers at the event included County Commissioners Nelson Peters, Therese Brown and Linda Bloom; Curt Witcher, Allen County coordinator of Bicentennial events; Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry; State Rep. and House Majority Leader Matt Lehman; and Bill Davis, District Director for Congressman Marlin Stutzman.  Bishop Luers student Antonio Menson sang the National Anthem and Emily Harrigan performed "Back Home Again in Indiana" as the Bicentennial flag was raised alongside the State of Indiana flag atop the Courthouse.  The Snider High School Pep Band provided musical entertainment.

The white flag presents the Indiana 200 Bicentennial logo in the blue and yellow of the Indiana State Flag.  The flag will continue to fly atop the Courthouse throughout the year.