A swan song from Statehouse legend

Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-14 19:29:17-04

Eastern Idaho Representative Linden Bateman has been a source of institutional history for lawmakers, but now he’s singing his swan song.

When you look up at the Statehouse Building, you'll see the state flag of Idaho. And that may be it for you.

But to Rep. Bateman, it's a symbol worth noting.

"It's a beautiful flag,” he said before the House State Affairs Committee. “One of the most beautiful. A woman, Miss Green, designed the seal, it's one of the most beautiful in the United States."

Bateman introduced a bill urging Idahoans to fly the Idaho state flag on March 4th for Idaho Day, July 3rd, the day Idaho became a state, and July 4th, alongside the anniversary of our nation’s birth.

The Idaho Falls representative has spent the better part of his recent six year stint as a lawmaker working to commemorate Idaho's unique culture and history. He started Idaho Day and memorialized several Idaho landmarks and historical events. His passion has touched his legislative colleagues.

"Linden Bateman is the biggest cheerleader for the state of Idaho and he does a tremendous job bringing Idaho history to life,” said Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa. “I'm really going to miss his stories, his energy, and his enthusiasm. Linden is a one of a kind guy."

Crane's relationship with Bateman stretches way back -- nearly 3 decades -- when Bateman was first in office. It started when Crane visited the Statehouse with his father, then Representative Ron Crane.

"As a ten year old child I got introduced to him (Bateman) and he said I got something for you and he gave me an Indian Head Nickel,” said Crane. “I brought my children over who were at the time six and four and Rep. Bateman gave them Indian Head Nickels as well. It's just a neat legacy and a neat heritage that he has created here in the state of Idaho."

Now, Bateman is hanging up his coat. But his final act is to encourage Idahoans to fly their flag, if only a few days a year, and find out what makes it such a gem.

"The more we learn about Idaho, the more we'll love Idaho,” said Bateman. “And the more we love Idaho the more we'll want to serve her."