July 01, 2006
Kotlarov, in 1985 an intern from Ketchikan for then-Senator Frank Murkowski, represented Alaska at Flag Day ceremonies at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The ceremony was sponsored by the National Flag Day Foundation.
The defense of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner," which became the words of the National Anthem in 1931.
As Alaska's representative to the 1985 event, Kotlarov received a thirteen-star American flag to present to Alaska's governor so it could be flown over the state Capitol. But, said Kotlarov, he wasn't able to get the attention of two Alaska governors before he left the state to attend graduate school.
Kotlarov, who now works at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's offices in Juneau, returned to Alaska about four years ago and realized that the flag was still at his parents' home in Ketchikan.
Kotlarov recently presented the flag to now-Governor Frank Murkowski, who ordered it flown over the Capitol on Flag Day, June 14.
Kotlarov presented the flag on June 15 to Richard Mauer, chairman of the State Board of Education & Early Development. The department oversees the Alaska State Archives, which will house the flag.