5th Anniversary of Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza

Jason Irby and the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee greeted friends and visitors at the 5th anniversary ceremony of the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza located in the Wabbaseka Community Park on Highway 79 and Myrtle Street in Wabbaseka, Arkansas.

A grand flag ceremony was performed by color guards from the Navy Operational Support Center of Little Rock and the ROTC of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), Dollarway High School, and Pine Bluff High School.  Colors were posted by the Pine Bluff High School ROTC.

Flag Presentations

All Branches Flag

Bestowed to Dollarway High School.  Presented by the Pine Bluff High School ROTC.  

Arkansas 1924 Flag

Bestowed to Jason Irby, memorial founder and chairman of the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee.  Presented by the Pine Bluff High School ROTC.

Willie K. Hocker 1912 Flag

Bestowed to Dr. David Ware, Arkansas State capitol historian.  Presented by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ROTC.

Willie K. Hocker 1913 Flag

Bestowed to Deb Crow, the Arkansas State Fair director.  Presented by the Dollarway High School ROTC.

United States Flag

Bestowed to Jason Irby.  Presented by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ROTC.

USS Arkansas CNG 42 Flag 

Bestowed to O.C. Horton, a retired veteran from Wabbaseka and sailor aboard the USS Arkansas CNG 42.  Presented by the Pine Bluff High School ROTC.

Special Recognition

The 5th anniversary of the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial theme was to recognize several individuals that made significant contributions to the local community, state of Arkansas and the United States.

Theodis Riggins

Theodis Riggins, retired veteran from Wabbaseka, was recognized for service to the United States, the state of Arkansas, to his community, and to his devotion during the inaugural ceremony of the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial.  David Ware presented a Capitol Citation on behalf of Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin to Mr. Riggins.

Jeanette Dardenne

Jeanette Dardenne was recognized with a Certificate of Recognition from the Arkansas Secretary of State for her dedication to the beautification and maintenance of the memorial and adopting the memorial as “her baby”.

Jason Irby

Jason Irby, founder and establisher of the memorial, was presented with the Pioneer Award by the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee and with a Capitol Citation from the Arkansas Secretary of State Office.

“I was so surprised when the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee presented me with the Pioneer Award, and then when David Ware presented the Capitol Citation to me, all I could say was wow,” Irby said.  

Comments and presentations concerning the flag and veterans memorial were also given by Pastor George Mitchell, Arkansas State Senator Stephanie Flowers, Wabbaseka Mayor Myra Edwards, Wabbaseka Memorial Committee board members O. C. Horton and Marla Jones, International Council of Corvette Clubs (ICCC) President Billy Brooks, ceremony honoree Theodis Riggins, retired veteran Delois Goodloe, and Arkansas National Guard Museum director Dr. Raymond Screws.

The Future of the Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza

Earlier this year, it was discussed among the City of Wabbaseka and the Union Pacific Railroad that the property on which the memorial plaza sits is owned by the railroad.  This information came as a shock to memorial founder Jason Irby and the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee being that they received permission from the City of Wabbaseka to place the flag and veterans memorial in 2013.

The Wabbaseka Memorial Committee was brought into the conversation between the City of Wabbaseka and the Union Pacific Railroad during mid-summer.  The railroad offered options to the committee to either rent the property space or remove the memorial.  This year’s ceremony was conducted at the Wabbaseka Community Center due to these discussions.

Historically during the anniversary ceremony, flags are hoisted up the flag poles in honor of veterans, the Arkansas State flag, and Miss Willie K. Hocker.  This year, the flags were presented to patrons by the local ROTC students.  Patrons will keep the flags until they can fly over Wabbaseka again.

Additionally, Wabbaseka will also install a new mayor in a few weeks as a result of the 2018 elections.

“I do not want to put any additional financial burdens on the City of Wabbaseka nor place additional expenses on the members and patrons of our flag and veterans memorial.  We are currently reviewing offers and options for potential locations and/or funding resources.  This memorial was established as a gesture of goodwill to honor and recognize notable historical accounts related to Miss Willie K. Hocker, the Arkansas Flag, and the USS Arkansas Navy battleship concerning this community and state that have far reaching impacts into our nation,” Irby shared.   

The memorial was spearheaded by Irby to honor the 100th year anniversary of the Arkansas Flag, USS Arkansas Navy battleship, and to recognize the Arkansas flag designer, Miss Willie K. Hocker of Wabbaseka.  The memorial site hosts ceremonies which honors military veterans as well.

Individuals, groups, and organizations can make donations here.

For more information regarding the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial, please email arkansasflag@gmail.com or visit arkansasflagwabbasekamemorial.wordpress.com.

Join us on October 12, 2016 for the 3rd Anniversary of the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza


Join us on October 12, 2016 from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. as we celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza.   The event will take place at Wabbaseka Community Park, intersection of Highway 79/63 and Myrtle Street, Wabbaseka, Arkansas.

The Arkansas State Flag was designed and sewn over a hundred years ago by Miss Willie K. Hocker.  Miss Hocker lived, taught, and wrote poetry in Wabbaseka, Arkansas and surrounding communities.

A memorial commemorating the Arkansas State Flag, the USS Arkansas Navy battleship, and Miss Hocker was established in the Wabbaseka Community Park in 2013.  Recently, it was learned that O.C. Horton, Jr., a Wabbaseka native, served on the USS Arkansas and will now be recognized on the memorial.

Jason Irby and the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee would also like to commend our military veterans.  Wabbaseka is proud of its contributions to Arkansas’ rich heritage.

Jason Irby and the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee celebrate the rich heritage of Arkansas and ask you to help maintain the memorial by making a tax deductible contribution online at http://www.arkansasflagwabbasekamemorial.wordpress.com.

We also invite you to come to Wabbaseka, Arkansas and experience the memorial in person.






2014 End of Year Exhibit – Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Committee Reflects on 2014

Author Jason Irby and the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee showcased documents, panels, and other artifacts pertaining to the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial.

The memorial was founded by Irby in 2013. The End of Year Exhibit was created to commemorate the effort in celebration of the Arkansas State Flag 100th year anniversary.

Willie K. Hocker, designer of the Arkansas State Flag, and the USS Arkansas were also honored.

The exhibit featured the 2014 accomplishments of the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee and other projects that Irby participated in throughout the year.

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Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial’s Inaugural Ceremony on October 12, 2014

AFWM POST 10-8-2014

The Pine Bluff Commerical Reports on the Pride of Wabbaseka!

The Pine Bluff Commercial reports on the 101st Anniversary of the Arkansas Flag.

via The Pine Bluff Commercial


The city of Wabbaseka became the official hometown of the Arkansas state flag in a recent ceremony honoring the 101st year anniversary of the flag, the flag’s designer, and the battleship that started it all. “Arkansas Flag 101” and the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Completion Ceremony were held Feb. 26 at Wabbaseka Community Park. The event, sponsored by the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee, was the culmination of a push by local author and poet Jason Irby to commemorate the historical milestone and its local significance. “What an incredible year it has been, with everything that has happened,” Irby said. “ This park has come a long way to become a place that contains a memorial that reflects our history.”

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UAPB Reports on the Wabbaseka Memorial Ceremony

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff reports on the university’s involvement in the Arkansas Flag Wabbaseka Memorial Ceremony. Click here to read more.