Wind picked up at the state Capitol on Monday morning, setting the perfect banner-waving background for the Nevada National Guard’s 23rd annual Flag Day celebration. “We must always remember that this symbol (the flag) is eternal of Americans,” said Col. Troy Armstrong, the keynote speaker. Alongside him, presenters at the event included Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Spaulding, who shared an Army birthday message, and KTVN 2 anchor Ryan Canaday, who emceed. The Nevada Air Guard also facilitated a five-flag ceremony, commemorating past versions of the U.S. flag. Standing before the Veterans Memorial, Armstrong used a large portion of the ceremony to reflect on the soldiers at Fort Ruby in the 1860s. It was known as the “worst post in the West” up until it closed in 1869, but soldiers still raised their own hand-painted, 36-star flag when Nevada first became a state in 1864. Armstrong said that the soldiers stationed there, and all soldiers who have put their lives on the line to protect the country, exemplify hardiness, symbolized by the color red in the U.S. flag. “The United States Army has been steadfast, and today is no exception,” Spaulding said. He balanced Armstrong’s historical speech with a modern take on how the Army has upheld country values in the past year, specifically during the pandemic. He said that thanks in part to the National Guard’s efforts to expand vaccination programs and distribute PPE throughout the state, Nevadans are seeing a slow but sure return to normalcy.