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.