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Altadena Rings in First Official Flag Day

The public ceremony celebrated the raising of the town's first flag on Saturday.

Dozens of residents, dignitaries and guests filled into the community room at the to celebrate an event some said was more than a century in the making--the introduction of the town's first flag.

A Saturday morning public ceremony welcomed dignitaries such as Congressman Adam Schiff, Sen. Carol Liu, Assemblyman Anthony Portantino and County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. All shared words of encouragement following the introduction from Sandra Thomas, chair of the Altadena Town Council and head of the town's flag committee.

"Now, I realize it took us a moment to get this flag going - exactly 125 years," she said. "But the thing is, we're happy, we have it, and we're going to raise it today. The idea of this flag is not a recent one. I think I've been hearing about ever since I moved to Altadena, which was in the early 70s."

Thomas also made it a point to spotlight fellow flag committee member Ethel Engstrom, who is 106 years old.

"I invite her to everything I have, and she beats me getting there," she said, referring to Engstrom as "our Auntie Ethel."

The national and state representatives of government all spoke words of praise for the community and its efforts to finally have its own flag.

"You can have a wonderul community without a flag, but I also think it's true that you can't have a wonderful flag without a truly great community," Schiff said. Portantino and Liu shared certificates of appreciation with Thomas, with Portantino and Antonovich commending Altadena's sense of community spirit.

Following the flag's raising, historian Michele Zack offered a presentation on Altadena history, noting highlights from the past century that help lay down Altadena's roots. One thing she noted is how Altadena flourished in the face of the Great Depression.

"What happened in Altadena in the '20s is that we were the hottest, fastest growing area in all of Los Angeles County. Within 10 years we went from just a little, kind of small ranching community of maybe 2,000 people to more than 20,000 people," she said. "And in the Depression, people kept coming. There was a lot of federal investment. Most of the thing we take as Altadena icons were Depression-era projects."

The flag design pictured at right was designated as the new flag of Altadena by the Town Council's Flag Committee following a public vote that was partially online and partially in-person. Altadena Patch has requested the voting tallies from that contest on multiple occasions but has not received them.

karen on eaton canyon April 22, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Could we see a photo of the flag outstretched so the entire field is visible? Couldn't go to the party...
Linda R April 22, 2012 at 03:37 PM
It's really too bad the local paper, Pasadena Star News is unable to keep the community apprised of news, events and happenings. I had no idea that this was about to happen.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) April 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Linda, if you don't already subscribe to our daily email newsletter, please consider signing up. We've got you covered on Altadena events: http://altadena.patch.com/newsletters
Steve Lamb April 22, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Its still ugly. Hopefully someday there will be a second Altadena flag that will be an improvement.
Linda R April 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Dan, The local newspaper should be a conduit for the public. I should not have to go on the internet to find out what is going on in my community, plus many people do not have computers. The same applies to the lack of information about the Altadena Town Council activities which never is in the paper either. Very disappointing. Most people in Altadena have no idea what is going on.
Chris April 22, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Local newspapers will all go away. There's no money in them any longer. We're lucky to have a guy who keeps us up-to-date with local news. Besides, the Pasadena Star serves Pasadena ... we're in Altadena. ;)
Hugo April 23, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Sad but true about newspapers. They are becoming obsolete.
Linda R April 23, 2012 at 01:36 AM
It's too bad that everything in our country is moved by money and greed. Altadena has ties to Pasadena and visa versa. With all the technology available how hard would it really be to keep everyone informed.......aside from the murders, robberies and gang activity!
mister altadena April 23, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Funny enough, Linda notes "with all the technology available......." , exactly! With all the technology available, it's no wonder people are choosing to receive their news via technology. I still get a daily paper but mainly for the sports & business sections. All the "gossip" and "chatter" about local events is found online. Especially in a smaller community like Altadena, who no longer has a community paper. With the ability to receive news/info within minutes/hrs, why wait up to 24 hrs to receive it via newspaper? Wasn't money & greed part of the initial reason that people began publishing newspapers?
michele Zack April 23, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Hardly seems fair to complain to the guy who IS delivering the news to us about the Star News, which isn't!
Gene Stevenson April 23, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Altadena now has its own flag. Great! Now if we could just get roadway improvements along Lincoln Avenue that we have been lacking forever underway and then completed; and a business district along Lincoln Avenue that is even half as well designed as in La Canada Flintridge; and a code enforcement effort that reflects a real commitment to the residents of West Altadena. Those three things alone, if accomplished, would be something that would merit Altadena's new flag being run up the flag pole.
Linda R April 23, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I am not "complaining" about the guy bringing the news, I am lamenting about the lack of newspaper coverage.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) April 23, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Linda, I do agree with you to some extent. I'm happy to be all digital but it is an unfortunate reality of the news business that right now we are stuck between a fully digital readership and a fully established digital media and a print media that can no longer survive and compete without a digital component. I'm an optimist about the long-term picture as everyone gets connected to the Internet and is comfortable using those functions. But it is true right now we have a digital divide and I wish we could reach those people who prefer to read a paper copy of the news.
AJ April 23, 2012 at 04:41 PM
I agree. West Altadena needs more focused attention on economic and infrastructure improvements
Laura Monteros April 23, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Exactly. And a gas station on the main route between Altadena and the 210--Lincoln Ave.
Chris April 23, 2012 at 06:32 PM
exactly. what if we didn't have this outlet? there'd be no news.
Eric Pierce April 24, 2012 at 01:46 AM
The Pasadena Star-News is still trying to figure out where Altadena is! I finally gave up on them when they identified Altadena as being at the 2 freeway and York Blvd...

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