November 9, 2017 - Azerbaijan’s National Flag Day was celebrated with a ceremony in the City of Monterey of the U.S. State of California on November 7, 2017. Hosted by the Monterey City Council in the City Hall, the event was attended by the City leadership, businesspersons, representatives of mass media, arts and culture as well as professors and students of the renowned Monterey-based graduate schools of the U.S. Department of Defense.
It is noteworthy that Monterey and the City of Lankaran in Azerbaijan have enjoyed a sister-city relationship since 2011.
Opening the event, Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson expressed the city’s satisfaction to host such celebration. Speaking of the importance of sister-city relationships in building bridges between people, the Mayor highlighted the partnership with Lankaran in Azerbaijan. Touching on the diversity of Monterey, Roberson stressed the significance of further developing mutually beneficial relationships with sister cities and expanding the outreach to their communities.
Then Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev was invited to address the audience. Speaking of Azerbaijan’s tumultous path to freedom and independence, the Consul General informed the event attendees about Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-20) – the first ever majority-Muslim secular democracy in the world - , which adopted the current tricolor flag as the national flag of Azerbaijan on November 9, 1918. Aghayev mentioned that after 71 years as part of the Soviet Union, this flag became the national flag of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan in 1991. He stressed that when Azerbaijan’s National Leader Heydar Aliyev was the chairman of the Supreme Assembly of Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan region, this tricolor flag was raised in November 1990 – a year before the collapse of the USSR – as the flag of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The Consul General thanked the City of Monterey for hosting this momentous celebration and for their unwaivering friendship.
Speaking afterwards, the former City Councilwoman Nancy Selfridge, who played an instrumental role in establishing the Monterey-Lankaran sister-city relationship talked about the history of this partnership and expressed her hope that this relationship will become even stronger over the years to come.
Then a proclamation signed by Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson regarding the Monterey-Lankaran partnership and Azerbaijan’s National Flag Day was presented to Consul General Nasimi Aghayev. The event also featured a phenomenal performance of Azerbaijani songs by local Azerbaijani community member Eldar Khudiyev.
It should be stressed that in honor of Azerbaijan’s National Flag Day and the celebration, a central street (Alvarado Str.) of Monterey was decorated with many Azerbaijan flags, a short video of which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/Vnf_FztVXyM