German American Club
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Flag Day

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 flag. 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 memories forever.

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