Chairman Kurt Prenzler, far right, reads a proclamation kicking off the Illinois Bicentennial during a flag raising ceremony held my counties and municipalities across the state today. Chief Judge David Hylla, center, attended the event with judges (left to right) Philip Alfred Dennis Ruth and Sarah Smith, along with Madison County Historical Museum Director Jon Parkins.

See related Illinois Bicentennial special flag-raising ceremony video below:

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EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County gave a salute to the Illinois Bicentennial during a special flag raising ceremony on Monday.

County Board chairman Kurt Prenzler read a proclamation kicking off the state’s 200th birthday celebration. Madison County joined other Illinois counties and communities across the state in hosting the event.

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“Illinois became the 21st state to join the union on Dec. 3, 1818,” Prenzler said. “The Bicentennial will pay tribute to the people, places and things across our state and what make us great.”

Chief Judge David Hylla and Judges Dennis Ruth, Sarah Smith and Philip Alfred, along with Madison County Historical Museum Director Jon Parkins, who was dressed in periodic clothing, joined Prenzler at the flagpole. The ceremony took place in the courtyard between the Administration Building and Courthouse at 157 N. Main St., Edwardsville.

Prenzler said at one point in time, before Illinois became a state, the majority of its territory was Madison County.

“Madison County stretched all the way north of St. Louis and reached into parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan,” he said. “Madison County was established in 1812, long before cities up north were even thought about. Edwardsville is the third oldest city in the state and incorporated in 1819 just after Illinois became a state.”

The Bicentennial is set to showcase Illinois’ influence on American history and culture, achievement and invention, business and art. Visit to find out more about the celebrations and events that will take place across the state during the next year.

Madison County employees from Facilities Management assist in raising the Bicentennial flag during a ceremony Monday to kickoff the 200th birthday celebration. Chairman Kurt Prenzler, far left, and Judges Philip Alfred and Dennis Ruth, Chief Judge David Hylla and Judge Sarah Smith, along with Madison County Historical Museum Director Jon Parkins watch as the flag go up.

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Related Video:

Madison County Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony