SITKA, ALASKA The first 49-star flag in Alaska was raised in secret at 12:01 AM on July 4th 1959 on Sitka’s Castle Hill.
Organizers of this year’s local Independence Day celebration plan to re-create the clandestine ceremony, which was attended by then-governor Bill Egan and his wife, along with a number of military officials.
According to contemporary newspaper reports, the flag-raisers wanted to honor Alaska’s statehood by raising the new 49-star flag in the same location that the first US flag was flown over the former Russian Colony in 1867.
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