18 Apr 2006

American Samoa celebrates Flag Day

1:44 pm on 18 April 2006

The American Samoa District of Ma'uputasi has held its own flag raising ceremony today, separate from the official government Flag Day activities at the Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Chiefs of the district, lawmakers and church ministers gathered at the Fagatogo malae and hoisted the US and American Samoan flags two hours before the start of the official Flag Day programme.

John Wasko of 93 KHJ radio was there as crews of the two long boats from Fagasa and Aua raised the flags and sang the national anthems.

"Well the crowd has faded but the glow remains down here in Fagatogo as we re-live the legacy of a hundred years. For the briefest of moments, we remembered what is was like in days of the past. I saw on the malae several colourful individuals - one gentleman was wearing his desert camel camouflage uniform, obviously a returned veteran from Iraq. One woman had a colourful American flag."

Fagatogo malae is nearly a kilometre from Sogelau Hill where the US flag was first raised on April the 17th 1900.