New case unveiled for Hickam’s ‘Old Glory’

"Old Glory" is diplayed in its new display case, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. A ceremony was held for the unveiling of the new case, which was updated to better preserve the flag. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

"Old Glory" is diplayed in its new display case, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. A ceremony was held for the unveiling of the new case, which was updated to better preserve the flag. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 15th Wing Honor Guard wait to lower the curtain covering "Old Glory" during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 15th Wing Honor Guard wait to lower the curtain covering "Old Glory" during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

Former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field attack survivor, takes a photo with the “Hickam Flag” after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Swanson, along with a fellow Airman, lowered the “Hickam Flag” after the attacks Dec. 7, 1941, when they noticed it was still flying at night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

Former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field attack survivor, takes a photo with the “Hickam Flag” after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Swanson, along with a fellow Airman, lowered the “Hickam Flag” after the attacks Dec. 7, 1941, when they noticed it was still flying at night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

(Seated left to right) U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, Pacific Air Forces vice commander; Sara Dillon, the vice commander's wife; retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski and former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Hickam Field attack survivors, watch a video of "Old Glory" as it is raised in Japan in 1945 during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

(Seated left to right) U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, Pacific Air Forces vice commander; Sara Dillon, the vice commander's wife; retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski and former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Hickam Field attack survivors, watch a video of "Old Glory" as it is raised in Japan in 1945 during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, Pacific Air Forces vice commander, speaks during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, Pacific Air Forces vice commander, speaks during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

Hickam Field attack survivors and members of Pacific Air Forces stand at attention as the Star Spangled Banner is played as part of a video during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

Hickam Field attack survivors and members of Pacific Air Forces stand at attention as the Star Spangled Banner is played as part of a video during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

Members of Pacific Air Forces watch a video of "Old Glory" being raised in Japan in 1945 during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

Members of Pacific Air Forces watch a video of "Old Glory" being raised in Japan in 1945 during a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

(Left to right) Sara Dillon, the vice commander's wife; U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, Pacific Air Forces vice commander; retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski and former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Hickam Field attack survivors, watch as "Old Glory" is unveiled, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. A new, updated, case was created for "Old Glory" to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

(Left to right) Sara Dillon, the vice commander's wife; U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, Pacific Air Forces vice commander; retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski and former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Hickam Field attack survivors, watch as "Old Glory" is unveiled, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. A new, updated, case was created for "Old Glory" to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen with Pacific Air Forces greet former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski, Hickam Field attack survivors, after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen with Pacific Air Forces greet former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski, Hickam Field attack survivors, after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

Retired U.S. Army Wynn Warner takes a photo with "Old Glory" after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 1941, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. Warner’s father, U.S. Army Air Forces Sgt. Tracy Warner, raised the flag Dec. 7, 1941, before Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field were attacked. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)
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Retired U.S. Army Wynn Warner takes a photo with "Old Glory" after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 1941, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. Warner’s father, U.S. Army Air Forces Sgt. Tracy Warner, raised the flag Dec. 7, 1941, before Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field were attacked. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

(Left to right) Retired U.S. Army Maj. Wynn Warner and former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Hickam Field attack survior, take a photo with "Old Glory" after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Warner’s father, U.S. Army Air Forces Sgt. Tracy Warner, raised the flag Dec. 7, 1941, and Swanson lowered it the night after the attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)
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(Left to right) Retired U.S. Army Maj. Wynn Warner and former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Hickam Field attack survior, take a photo with "Old Glory" after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Warner’s father, U.S. Army Air Forces Sgt. Tracy Warner, raised the flag Dec. 7, 1941, and Swanson lowered it the night after the attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski, Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field attack survivor, takes a photo with "Old Glory" after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)
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Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski, Pearl Harbor-Hickam Field attack survivor, takes a photo with "Old Glory" after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

(Left to right) U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, Pacific Air Forces vice comander; former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Hickam Field attack survivor; and Sara Dillon, the vice commander's wife, take a photo with "Old Glory" after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in.(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)
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(Left to right) U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, Pacific Air Forces vice comander; former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson, Hickam Field attack survivor; and Sara Dillon, the vice commander's wife, take a photo with "Old Glory" after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in.(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from Pacific Air Forces take a photo with (front left to right) former U.S. Army Air Forces Durward Swanson and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski, Hickam Field attack survivors, and retired U.S. Army Maj. Wynn Warner, whose father raised the Hickam Flag before the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Hickam, after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Airmen from Pacific Air Forces take a photo with (front left to right) former U.S. Army Air Forces Durward Swanson and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Kowalski, Hickam Field attack survivors, and retired U.S. Army Maj. Wynn Warner, whose father raised the Hickam Flag before the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Hickam, after a ceremony, Dec. 7, 2015, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The ceremony was held to unveil the new flag case "Old Glory" is to be displayed in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick/Released)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

Headquarters Pacific Air Forces unveiled the new case to house “Old Glory” during a ceremony here Dec. 7.

 

Presided over by Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon, PACAF vice commander, the ceremony highlighted the history of the American flag that flew at Hickam Field, dubbed the Hickam Flag, during the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Hickam Dec. 7, 1941, as well as honored two Hickam survivors, former U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Durward Swanson and U.S. Air Force retired Col. Andrew Kowalski.

 

“It is a distinct honor to have these ironmen with us,” Dillon said. “Yes, we can never forget what they did, but because of Tech. Sgt. Swanson’s actions that fateful day, that same garrison flag is also here. Tech. Sgt. Swanson, we thank you for doing your duty that night and retiring our torn and tattered ‘Old Glory.’”

 

Swanson, who along with Sgt. Albert Lloyd, took the flag down at the end of the day following the attacks.

 

“We were just doing our checks,” Swanson recalled in a previous article. “We had security guards posted around the entire field. Then, it [was] night time, and I said to Lloyd, ‘Stud, the flag is still flying. We’ve got to take that down.’ We took the flag down and folded it the best we could as shattered as it was.”

 

Soon after the attacks, “Old Glory” was sent to Washington D.C. under the safekeeping of Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold, chief of the Army Air Forces. It would also be displayed during war bond drives as a reminder of the events on Pearl Harbor and Hickam throughout the course of World War II. The flag was also prominently displayed on the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay during the signing of the surrender documents that ended the war. The Hickam flag eventually returned back to HQ PACAF in 1980.

 

According to Steve Diamond, HQ PACAF command historian, the brand new case was created in accordance with modern conservation standards since the former case provided inadequate protection, as it was not sealed properly, letting in humidity and bugs, and had poor lighting.

 

“We now have non-harming LED lighting and better glass to protect [the flag] from UV rays,” the historian said. “Overall, this is the type of case you would find in the Bishop Museum and the Air Force Museum.

 

“[The flag] is the most unique and symbolic artifact that’s a witness to what happened Dec. 7, 1941,” he continued. “Nothing like it exists anywhere -- it was here at the start of America’s participation [in WWII], and what’s very symbolic, it was also present at the end of the war.”

 

As for Swanson, he said he was happy to see the flag again.

 

“It thrills my heart,” he said. “[The case] is very nice … as long as the flag is up, that’s what matters to me.”

 

Due to damage the flag received on its “proper” display side, the only way to preserve and display it was to attach the protective backing onto the “proper” display side causing it to be displayed in reverse.