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Maine Marks 200th Birthday Since It Split From Massachusetts

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling (from left), Councilor Pious Ali, Janet Mills (right) and others with Maine's bicentennial flag.
Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling (from left), Councilor Pious Ali, Janet Mills (right) and others with Maine's bicentennial flag.

Celebrations for Maine’s bicentennial began Tuesday, as Gov. Janet Mills raised the bicentennial flag in Presque Isle, Bangor, Portland and Augusta, marking the 200 anniversary of the vote to separate the District of Maine from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In Portland, Mills spoke about how Maine is defined by its people, and must honor these “unsung heroes.”

Gov. Janet Mills speaks during a Maine bicentennial celebration.
Credit Julie Pike / Maine Public
Gov. Janet Mills speaks during a Maine bicentennial celebration.

"They are the fighters and teachers, firefighters and techies, and hotel workers, and farmers and fishermen, the waiters and loggers and the barbers and mill workers of our towns and cities across the state,” she said.

Mills said Maine is home to many diverse groups and hopes the bicentennial offers Mainers the opportunity to “recommit to the values that shaped us as a state and as a people.”

The events Tuesday featured the bicentennial flag, a copy of Maine’s original 1901 flag, which depicts a Dirigo star, a pine tree and water. Celebrations will continue in March 2020, Maine’s official bicentennial.

Originally published July 30, 2019 at 5:40 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2019 Maine Public