Most German American clubs at some point in their history opt to have a club
flag. Fabricants of such flags are located primarily in Germany, and are
experts in this very intricate and specialized art of embroidery.
Early in its history the GACNC found itself able to purchase a club flag.
After a membership vote approving this project, a design committee was
established under the chairmanship of Marianne Gohrig. After numerous meetings
and design changes a final design was reached. In early 2002, the contract was
awarded to the company Fahnen-Koessinger, in Germany. Delivery was
successfully completed late September, 2002.
It is a tradition in Germany to have a Fahnenweihe, or blessing for the new
This dedication ceremony occurs before the flag may be initially displayed at
future public events. The church ceremony transpires with much pomp and
circumstance. Afterwards a festive dinner is held at a nearby restaurant.
We chose to have an ecumenical service and invited local and distant clergy to
participate in the service; namely, Deacon Wiedemann (Lutheran), Father Hummel
(Roman Catholic) and Pastor Engelhardt (Non-denominational).
On October 5, 2002 the service was held in the church hall of the Christian
Center in Margaretville, with Pastor Engelhardt presiding. He was assisted by
Father Hummel and Deacon Wiedemann. Amidst beautiful floral decorations
accenting the autumn, Celia Gyuresko, serenaded all with a well chosen
musical selection augmenting the ceremonial dedication.
The ceremony began with a processional entry of the still covered flag
ceremoniously to the front of the church. The national anthems of Germany and
the USA were sung - reminding us of our origin, as well as our citizenship and
loyalty to this great land. Pastor Engelhardt greeted those in attendance, and
then Deacon Wiedermann performed the actual dedication and blessing in
German. Continuing in German, he expounded on the historical tradition of flags
throughout the centuries, as far back as the period of the ancient Norsemen.
Traditionally, the Fahnenmutter (mother of the flag) and the Fahnenbraut
(bride of the flag) present banners to be hung on the flagstaff. Marianne
Gohrig, the Fahnenmutter, presented her banner on the flag. Also a Trauerband
(to honor our deceased members) was presented by Trude Gilleo. Father Hummel
then gave his closing remarks, reminding all what this flag means to our club:
a symbol of enduring unity and strength..
Afterwards, ceremonial pictures were taken, and the whole entourage adjourned
to the Deutsches Forsthaus Restaurant in Oliverea, NY for a traditional
Sauerbraten dinner. While waiting for dinner to be served, we toasted our new
flag with beer and Jaegermeister.
What a glorious day it was, a day which will remain in our hearts and
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