An American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to commemorate the Solvang Chamber of Commerce's centennial was dedicated to the city's business community on Monday.

To celebrate the Chamber turning 100 on Jan. 16, the stars and stripes were flown on the town's behalf in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 5 at the request of U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal.

The flag which made its way back to the Central Coast, was officially dedicated to the city's business community by Chamber Executive Director Tracy Beard at the April 26 council meeting. Beard specifically recognized local merchants as the city's economic engine responsible for driving Solvang's steady economic growth and job creation. 

"Tonight, we would like to honor our community and give this flag to our business community and our City Council to fly high, and to keep our community economically strong," Beard said. "We truly believe our Solvang Chamber of Commerce is prosperous only because of our business community that has kept it that way for 100 years."

Beard presented the folded flag stored in a rectangular box to council members, along with a certificate signed by the Architect of the Capitol. Mayor Charlie Uhrig accepted the boxed flag and agreed to care for it and find a place to display it honorably at City Hall.

According to Beard, 78 years ago to the day, the city of Solvang received its first U.S. flag on April 26, 1943, at the request of the Solvang Businessmen’s Association. She said the "historical coincidence" further symbolizes a promise of prosperity to the town.

The association, which was formed by six Solvang business owners 100 years ago, served as a precursor to the Chamber which replaced it in the 1960s.

"The Chamber’s success comes from the hard work of the proud business owners of Solvang," Beard said. "We are honored by Congressman Carbajal’s recognition of the Chamber’s economic impact on the city of Solvang and to the Valley."

042721 US flag gifted to Solvang 2

Solvang Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tracy Beard at the April 26 council meeting presented council members with a box containing an American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to honor the Chamber's 100th anniversary. 

More recently, the Chamber continues to serve as the central resource center for state and federal loans and grants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carbajal on Jan. 8, alongside newly appointed Sen. Alex Padilla, hosted a virtual COVID-19 town hall meeting that was attended by Chamber members to discuss accessing economic aid in the wake of the pandemic.

Beard confirmed that the city of Solvang is slated to receive approximately $1.1 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, a COVID-19 economic aid package passed in December to assist small businesses and nonprofits.

 “We are grateful that Sen. Padilla took the time to meet with local residents and share the work he and Congressman Carbajal are doing to secure our community funding from the American Rescue Plan,” she said.

Series: Solvang City Council coverage

Read this collection of stories on Solvang City Council from the past year.  Read all of our coverage of local government in the Santa Ynez Valley on SYVNews.com

 
 
 

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record. 

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