Nearly 150-year-old tricolor flag brought to Avram Iancu's grave to honor hero's memory

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One of the oldest tricolor flags in Transylvania, dated to 1869, was brought on Sunday to the grave of 1848 Revolution leader Avram Iancu, on the occasion of the National Celebrations in Tebea marking the 145th anniversary of the death of the historical figure whom the locals lovingly call "Lord of the Mountains".

"It is a very old flag, we say it's the oldest in Transylvania. It was researched, authenticated and restored by the Astra Museum of Sibiu and by the National Museum of History," mayor of the Ribita commune Ioan Faur told AGERPRES. Faur was the one who proudly brought the banner to the National Celebrations.

He said that the precious item was discovered by accident in 2004 in the steeple of the Ribita church, by historian Ioachim Lazar who was searching material for a monograph of the commune. The mayorality restored the flag and plans to put it on display at the Crisan memorial house, Ioan Faur explained.

According to him, given its special historical significance, the flag is kept at a secret place, until it can be showcased under safe conditions.

People gathered in the thousands on Sunday to attend the National Celebrations at Tebea organized every year as a tribute to Avram Iancu's memory.

Attending the event were politicians, lawmakers and representatives of local authorities from several counties, members of non-governmental associations with a historical profile.

"I came here just like every year, to the grave of Avram Iancu. I tell all my colleagues and all Romanians to come here at least once a year, because this is where you best remember being Romanian. It does us good not to forget that we are Romanians and that this country belongs to us, Romanians. (...) Every time I leave here, I leave suffused with the essence of Romanian identity," said Chamber of Deputies Speaker and PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea, who was also present at the event.

In his turn, Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban said that Tebea is a landmark place for the history of Romanians.

"I consider the celebration in Tebea as an extremely important one. I believe no Romanian politician can afford not to come to Tebea. (...) They must come to recollect at the grave of Avram Iancu and reflect at the history of this country, at the people who laid down their lives to offer this country a destiny," said the PNL leader.

Two war veterans aged 97 and 98 from Vata de Sus and Tebea, respectively, were also present, rejoicing that they could witness for yet another year the celebrations dedicated to Avram Iancu.

Just like every year, the manifestations were preceded by a march organized by poet Laurian Stanchescu, with the participants marching one hundred kilometers between Avram Iancu's birth place — Vidra, and the cemetery where the national hero is buried.

"We set off on this march on September 4, we had ceremonies commemorating Avram Iancu at the churches of Mihaileni and Zdrapti, and at the statue of this ruler of the Romanian spirit in Brad. Other homage-paying events were in Campeni and Abrud. What is extraordinary is that people gathered around us and this was a triumph for Avram Iancu's sacred history," said Laurian Stanchescu.

Avram Iancu (1824—1872) is considered as a charismatic leader of the Romanians of Transylvania, having fought for their political rights and having played a key role in the 1848 Revolution. AGERPRES (RO — author: Sorin Blada, editor: Antonia Nita; EN — author/editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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