Sep 22 - 25, 2019 | National Harbor, Md.
For 124 years, NAMIC’s Annual Convention has gathered insurance leaders to share knowledge, fellowship, and resources to strengthen the future of our industry. While attendees look forward to gaining new insights and making new connections each year, they also come to take part in the traditions of the event. One such tradition is the parade of flags ahead of the opening session.
The flag ceremony was first initiated to boost the pomp and pageantry of the 100th Annual Convention in Indianapolis. In addition to the American and Canadian flags, flags representing all 50 states and all 10 provinces were marched in to kick off the milestone event.
NAMIC has one employee who’s been with the association long enough to remember the 1995 event. Larry Baile, assistant vice president of convention and association services, recognizes the challenge to keep the ceremony fresh each year while respecting the tradition of the ceremony.
“We’ve done it so many different ways” said Baile. “We’ve had it when they’ve marched to different types of music, to where they’ve ended up in front of the stage, to the sides of the stage, on top of the stage, gone across the stage, and up and down with the U.S. and Canadian flags still up there.”
The Convention location is a major factor when choreographing the ceremony.
“This year as we look out over National Harbor, the team is inspired by our nation’s leaders and the history this location represents,” said Kristen Spriggs, NAMIC’s senior vice president of member development. “The parade of flags will be featured prominently at the 124th Annual Convention, led by members from state associations, the NAMIC Merit Society, and those who enjoy this demonstration of patriotism and visual representation of our mutual industry coming together.”
With more than 60 people needed to pull off the ceremony, it’s become a friendly competition among attendees to bear their own state flag.
“They’re very proud to be a part of it,” said Baile. “Obviously sometimes there is more than one person from a particular state. So, it’s always fun to see who gets it first because they really want to represent their home state.”
If you are interested in joining the tradition of NAMIC’s flag ceremony, you can indicate it on the Convention registration form or email Larry Baile for details.
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